THEY say everybody needs good neighbours.
Southampton’s loss has certainly been Cherries’ gain in the case of Baily Cargill.
And while a hefty sell-on for Adam Lallana has already swelled the Dean Court coffers, teenage defender Cargill could yet prove a very shrewd investment by the Dorset club.
As a 12-year-old, Cargill was released by Saints after being told they had a left-back slightly ahead of him in the pecking order.
His team-mate and rival was none other than Luke Shaw, whose £30million move to Manchester United last month was a world record fee for a teenager.
“When he got called up by England, I was really pleased for him,” said Cargill, who also played in the same Saints team as Callum Chambers, James Ward-Prowse, Harrison Reed and Sam McQueen. “I was also a bit envious but I’ve got a lot of improving to do and he has done very well for himself.
“At the time, nobody really knew how good Luke was going to be. We were both left-backs and it just shows I had some tough competition at Southampton.”
Cargill was invited to join the Cherries centre of excellence after impressing during a trial but his rejection by Saints had planted seeds of doubts.
“I lost a lot of confidence,” said Cargill, who was also on Leicester’s books as a schoolboy. “I was carrying a bit of weight and wasn’t enjoying my football. I was down and just wanted to play with my mates.
“My coach at the time was Jim Totczyk and he talked me round. He said I had so much potential and persuaded me to carry on. Since that day, I have grown in confidence year on year. I will always be grateful to him for pushing me because, if he hadn’t, I don’t know what I would be doing now.”
At 15, Cargill became a regular for Cherries under-16s and head of youth Joe Roach had no hesitation in selecting him for an FA Youth Cup tie before his education continued under Shaun Brooks and Paul Groves.
“I know it didn’t work out for them with the first team but they helped me improve,” said Cargill. “When they went, I knew I needed to make a good first impression on the new manager because I didn’t think he would have remembered me from his first spell.”
One of the first intake in the club’s development squad, Cargill continued to make eye-catching progress during loan spells with AFC Totton, Welling and Torquay and was rewarded by Eddie Howe with a new two-and-a-half year contract in November.
He said: “Before going to Totton, I had never played men’s football and it gave me so much confidence. It made me believe I was good enough.
“Welling was a step up and a lot different. It was more physical, a better standard and gave me even more confidence.
“Although Torquay were relegated, going there gave me my best experience in football so far – my debut in the Football League. It was everything I had been working towards since I first started playing. I was so pleased for my family because they have always been so supportive and it was a great moment.”
Cargill, who has now been elevated to Howe’s first-team squad, added: “I am really enjoying the opportunity I have been given and am determined to make the most of it. I never thought I would be training regularly with Championship players, let alone play alongside them. It has done a power of good for my confidence and I would like to think I would be ready if called upon.”
- This article appeared in our AFC Bournemouth pre-season supplement which was published on Thursday.