CHERRIES star Josh Gowling admits he will have "something to prove" when he returns to West Brom for the first time since he was shown the door by the club.

The cultured defender will be hoping to help Cherries put one over the Championship big guns when the two sides meet in the first round of next season's Carling Cup.

Kevin Bond's charges were paired against the Baggies in next season's draw and will visit the Black Country during the week commencing Monday, August 13.

And Gowling, who served a five-year apprenticeship at the Hawthorns, says he is relishing the prospect of facing the club which once shattered his boyhood dreams.

He told the Daily Echo: "It was heartbreaking when they released me.

"They obviously thought I wasn't good enough, but I didn't think that was the case.

"Gary Megson was the manager at the time and he hadn't really seen me play. But at the end of my last season, the youth team boss Craig Shakespeare took me into a room and gave me the news.

"He said they had recommended me for a pro contract but because the manager didn't need any centre-halves, I wouldn't be getting one. It was as simple and quick as that.

"I had a weird feeling that we would draw them at some point and I would love to go there and show them that I'm better than they thought.

"I was there between the ages of 14 and 19 and absolutely loved the club. All the boys were like brothers and I still keep in touch with a lot of them now. It was really hard to leave and a hugely disappointing way to go."

Following his rejection, Gowling plied his trade with Danish outfit Herfolge before he reunited with Cherries' then assistant boss Richard O'Kelly - his youth team coach at West Brom - at Dean Court two years ago.

And although his former club just missed out on a return to the Premiership last season after losing the Championship play-off final to Derby, Gowling feels an upset could be on the cards.

"I'm excited about the draw and can't wait to go back there," added the 23-year-old.

"It's a tough draw but it will be good to have such a hard game so soon into the new season.

"We went on a good run after we had played Everton at the end of January last season and hopefully we can do something similar.

"You always tend to raise your game against better players and playing against the quality of West Brom will stand us in good stead for our league games.

"There is no reason why we can't go there and do a job.

"Most of their players will be more experienced, but we aren't mugs ourselves and there is no reason why we can't do well against them."