MANAGER Eddie Howe has described Cherries’ start to next season as “challenging” following the publication today of the new fixture list.
Cherries will kick off their Championship campaign on Saturday, August 9 with a trip to Huddersfield Town – the scene of a heavy 5-1 defeat early last season.
And following a visit to Exeter City in the first round of the League Cup, Howe’s men will face Brentford and Nottingham Forest in back-to-back home games in the space of four days.
The opening month continues with another lengthy trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, August 23 before Cherries again hit the road to Norwich City a week later.
Journeys to West Yorkshire, Devon, East Lancashire and Norfolk will see Cherries and their supporter clock up more than 1,700 miles in the first three weeks of the season.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “It is certainly a tough start and a challenging one for all sorts of reasons. We are playing a number of the fancied teams in the opening month with three long trips in there as well.
“Our support both home and away last season was phenomenal and this will be a testing start for our travelling fans, especially in August which is a busy month on the roads anyway.
“We will be working hard during pre-season to make sure we are ready and prepared for the start and will again need to hit the ground running for what promises to be another extremely difficult season.”
Cherries have been given another home fixture on Boxing Day – with relegated Fulham the visitors to Dean Court – before heading to Millwall to bring down the curtain on 2014 two days later.
And supporters will journey to Suffolk for a second successive season over Easter when Howe’s men face Ipswich at Portman Road on Saturday, April 4.
A trip to Charlton, which Cherries have had twice on the opening day in recent years, comes on the final day next season, Saturday, May 2.
AFC BOURNEMOUTH 2014-15 CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES (home fixtures in capitals)
Saturday 9: Huddersfield Town (3pm)
Tuesday 12 (provisional): Exeter City, Capital One Cup (tbc)
Saturday 16: BRENTFORD (3pm)
Tuesday 19: NOTTINGHAM FOREST (7.45pm)
Saturday 23: Blackburn Rovers (3pm)
Saturday 30: Norwich City (3pm)
Saturday 13: ROTHERHAM UNITED (3pm)
Tuesday 16: LEEDS UNITED (7.45pm)
Saturday 20: Watford (3pm)
Saturday 27: WIGAN ATHLETIC (3pm)
Tuesday 30: Derby County (7.45pm)
Saturday 4: Bolton Wanderers (3pm)
Saturday 18: CHARLTON ATHLETIC (3pm)
Tuesday 21: READING (7.45pm)
Saturday 25: Birmingham City (3pm)
Saturday 1: BRIGHTON (3pm)
Tuesday 4: Sheffield Wednesday (7.45pm)
Saturday 8: Middlesbrough (3pm)
Saturday 22: IPSWICH TOWN (3pm)
Saturday 29: MILLWALL (3pm)
Saturday 6: Wolverhampton Wanderers (3pm)
Saturday 13: CARDIFF CITY (3pm)
Saturday 20: Blackpool (3pm)
Friday 26: FULHAM (3pm)
Sunday 28: Millwall (3pm)
Saturday 10: NORWICH CITY (3pm)
Saturday 17: Rotherham United (3pm)
Saturday 24: Leeds United (3pm)
Saturday 31: WATFORD (3pm)
Saturday 7: Wigan Athletic (3pm)
Tuesday 10: DERBY COUNTY (7.45pm)
Saturday 14: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN (3pm)
Saturday 21: Brentford (3pm)
Wednesday 25: Nottingham Forest (7.45pm)
Saturday 28: BLACKBURN ROVERS (3pm)
Tuesday 3: WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (7.45pm)
Saturday 7: Fulham (3pm)
Saturday 14: BLACKPOOL (3pm)
Tuesday 17: Cardiff City (7.45pm)
Saturday 21: MIDDLESBROUGH (3pm)
Saturday 4: Ipswich Town (3pm)
Monday 6: BIRMINGHAM CITY (3pm)
Saturday 11: Brighton (3pm)
Tuesday 14: Reading (8pm)
Saturday 18: SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY (3pm)
Saturday 25: BOLTON WANDERERS (3pm)
Saturday 2: Charlton Athletic (3pm)