CHERRIES prospect Josh Carmichael admitted fulfilling one of his boyhood dreams had been a “truly memorable experience”.
Carmichael lined up for loan club Gosport Borough in today’s FA Trophy final against Cambridge United at Wembley.
And although the 19-year-old – the youngest player on the pitch – finished up on the losing side as Cambridge ran out 4-0 winners, he said he would treasure the memory for many years to come.
Midfielder Carmichael, who attended Poole Grammar School, was one of Boro’s few shining lights as Alex Pike’s men were beaten by the Conference high-fliers.
Carmichael told the Daily Echo: “I thought I did okay. I probably should have done a bit better at times and gave away the ball a few times. But I was unfortunate with a few decent crosses because there was nobody on the end of them.
“All in all, the whole experience was amazing. I am grateful to Alex Pike for giving me the chance to start and can’t thank him enough for that. To be part of the squad for the four days was brilliant, especially at such a young age.
“I felt I handled myself well in front of a crowd of 18,000. The game flew by and I couldn’t believe how quickly the time went. We made a few mistakes and they punished us. You can’t get away with making mistakes when you are playing a team near the top of the Conference.
“I was both nervous and excited when I found out I would be starting but I began to relax during the warm-up and treated it like any other game.
“To have fulfilled one of my footballing dreams at such a young age was a truly memorable experience.”
Carmichael, booked for a second-half foul, was forced to miss a post-match banquet in the Bobby Moore Suite after being one of four players chosen by FA officials to attend a random anti-doping test.
He was watched by father Ian, grandfather Alex and girlfriend Roya, while Cherries development squad coach Stephen Purches was also in attendance.
Purches told the Daily Echo: “I thought he handled the game very well. It was a great experience to have at his age and it is every lad’s dream to play at Wembley. I thought he acquitted himself well throughout the game.
“I thought the scoreline flattered Cambridge but they were more clinical than Gosport who did well for the first 30 minutes. Josh can hold his head up high because his was a decent performance.”