THERE are few things worse than the sense of what might have been.

Yann Kermorgant is not bitter. He is not hammering his former manager, nor is he saying things would necessarily have been different had he been given a decent crack at the Premier League.

But after 15 goals in a Championship-winning campaign that rightly earned a place in the hearts of near enough every Cherries fan, you can perhaps understand his consternation at seeing Eddie Howe’s team selection on Friday, August 7 last year.

The Beast of Brittany already knew he had not made the starting XI but when he saw the rest of the previous season’s mainstays named in the side for Cherries’ top-flight curtain raiser against Aston Villa, his heart understandably sank.

“I got injured just before the last pre-season game against Cardiff and when I found out I was on the bench, of course I was gutted,” he recalls.

“When I saw the starting XI and I was the only one to miss out, that was when I lost my head. I felt like it was not fair.

“As champions, we did so well and when all of the other champions started, it felt like it was just me, like I was the only one.

“I had a terrible night’s sleep, it was really bad and when I came on against Aston Villa, I was not ready and not because of anything physical.

“Mentally it was difficult. I thought my chance to prove myself and show what I could do would be in the first game. After that, I knew it would be very tough with new players coming in.

“I didn’t expect to play 40 minutes like I did and if I had known that, it might not have disturbed me as much.

“But that is something you cannot control, your emotions inside. That’s life. You cannot pretend to be happy when you are not.

“When you are thinking a lot, it can drain your energy and on that Saturday, I felt flat.”

It proved to be the beginning of the end of a two-year romance that for the most part would not have been out of place in a Parisian setting.

No starts in the Premier League for a player turning 34 was always likely to prompt a tearful farewell.

“I do think I should have been given a chance,” said Kermorgant.

“That doesn’t mean I think I should have played all the time but all of the other players had a chance and now look at them. They all showed they were good enough for the Premier League.

“I knew my situation was different. I knew I was older and that I was not the future but after what I did, I thought I deserved the chance.

“Maybe I would not have been good enough but at least I would have had no regrets because today, I think what might have happened if I had played the first two or three games. We will never know.

“I felt disappointed but I have no personal problem with the manager, we still keep in touch and have a great relationship.

“It is not a problem. Sometimes, football is ruthless and you cannot have space for feelings. I know he was just doing his job, I just have a few regrets that I could not do more.”

Undoubtedly, the pull on the heart strings was a result of just how high the highs were.

Right until the end, Kermorgant’s named reverberated in the Steve Fletcher Stand with the same gusto as ever before.

Chances are we will hear a rendition of his song when Cherries travel to Kermorgant’s current club Reading tonight (8pm), despite his absence being enforced by a small tear to a muscle near his thigh and hip.

“I have been out of training for a week and now I am just starting to train outside again so the manager does not want to take a risk,” he added.

“I know it is not the best timing. Hopefully it will not take too long but I will be at the game and am looking forward to seeing everyone,” he added.

“I had a great time at the club and wish them all the best, I will always follow them.

“The fans have always brilliant to me, they have always given me so much respect so I want to see the club do well for them as well as everyone in the team and the people behind the scenes.”