GOALKEEPER Shwan Jalal admitted he had been both “proud and privileged” to have featured in Cherries’ rise from the depths of League Two to the Championship.
Jalal’s exit was officially confirmed by the club earlier today – with boss Eddie Howe having revealed to the Daily Echo in December that he would not be offered fresh terms.
The 30-year-old joined Cherries from Peterborough in 2008, helping the club preserve its Football League status in 2009 and playing a part in two promotions.
Jalal, who kept 48 clean sheets in 147 league starts for Cherries, trained with Bury last month and could also be a target for Notts County and Crewe.
He told the club website: “It is going to take a while to sink in because I have been here for six years. To leave such a great club, which will always remain a massive part of my life, is going to be strange.
“But I am proud and privileged to have played a part in its history and its rise up the leagues. When I came here, the club was in League Two and had minus 17 points, but look at it now. It is great to have that feeling.
“It has been a hard season because I have been watching a lot from the stands so have almost turned into a fan. My son is an avid fan and absolutely loves Bournemouth as well. One day, I will be able to pull out the DVDs and show him me playing for the club. It is something that will always be with me.”
Jalal, who last featured for Cherries in a 3-1 defeat at Leyton Orient in March 2013, spent time on loan this season with both the Os and Oxford United, making just two appearances.
Boss Howe, speaking to the Daily Echo when he revealed his decision not to offer Jalal a new contract, said: “Shwan has trained very hard and has been a very good professional.
“Unfortunately, this is one of the most difficult parts of my job because he has done really well and has been a great servant to the club, both on and off the pitch. He has been the ultimate professional and has been here through some really hard times and helped the club through them.
“But, at this stage of his career, sitting as a number two or three isn’t going to do him any good. He needs and wants to play and still has that desire to be a number one. Unfortunately, that is not going to be here but I still feel someone will be getting a very good goalkeeper.”