STRIKER Tokelo Rantie is hoping to hit the ground running with Cherries next season after keeping his eye in on international duty over the summer.

Rantie helped South Africa claim a 1-1 draw with Australia on Monday and will again be keen to feature when Bafana Bafana face New Zealand at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland on Friday.

The 24-year-old, who joined Cherries for a club record fee from Malmo in August, experienced fluctuating fortunes during his debut season at Dean Court.

He told the club website: “I am already excited because I think I am now in a position where I know what the league is all about.

“I have played against certain teams and know exactly what is required of me so I am looking forward to next season and think it is going to be good for me personally as a player. I just hope that I will manage to help the team as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, Cherries yesterday announced their first warm-up friendly with Eddie Howe’s men meeting FC Copenhagen during their pre-season training camp in Austria.

Cherries will pit their wits against the Danish giants at the Vulkanlandarena in the south of Austria, approximately 50km from Graz, on Friday, July 11 (7pm kick-off local time).

The match will be open to the general public, with ticket prices starting at eight euro. Cherries have said more information will be released to supporters closer to the date of the fixture.

Howe’s squad, who return for the start of pre-season on Saturday, June 28, will fly to Austria on Tuesday, July 8 before being put through their paces at a base in Bad Waltersdorf, which is located in the state of Styria.