BOURNEMOUTH skipper Chris Park is excited to welcome back spin star Jem Warner for the second half of the campaign.

The talented leg-spinner is set to return to Lions’ squad for Saturday's Southern League Division One clash at Andover (12.30pm), having started his summer break from Durham University.

Formerly of Swanage, Warner had been featuring for North East Premier League outfit Castle Eden, claiming 15 wickets this campaign with best figures of four for 23 against Boldon.

He made his senior Minor Counties debut for Dorset in 2015 and took 10 wickets for Bournemouth last season.

Park told the Daily Echo: “Jem has been keeping himself ticking over, which is brilliant, and is looking forward to coming back as part of our team.

“He gives us something a little different being a young leg-spinner and adds variety to our attack.

“He is a slightly quicker leg-spinner. I would compare him to Anil Kumble. He has good variation and a good googly, it’s nice to have him back for sure.”

League leaders Bournemouth have been devastating in the spin department already this season, with Rob Pack, Dom Clutterbuck and Jake Hurley claiming 49 wickets between them.

And wicketkeeper-batsman Park insisted Warner’s return reunited a menacing quartet.

“It has been something which has materialised over the past couple of years,” added the skipper. "They refer to themselves as ‘team spin’ and are always taking the mickey out of the seam bowlers for not getting a huge amount of wickets.

“As a young spinner, you can grow up being slogged for six over mid-wicket.

“All four spinners have that unfazed nature in that they quite enjoy the battles of a batsman attacking them. That is when they are most likely to get their wickets.

"It’s important our fielding standard is good and we take the chances which come our way to back them up.

“They get through their overs quickly and are economical. Let’s hope Andover is a dry, turning pitch for us.”

Warner’s comeback is one of two changes for the visitors with former skipper Martin Miller also set to feature. Seamers Dave Kidner and Dan Conway both miss out.

All-rounder Hurley starred with the bat when Bournemouth beat Andover on the opening day of the season.

Coming in at seven, he struck an unbeaten 51 from 79 deliveries to ensure Lions recorded a four-wicket success.

“It was the first game of the season and a low-scoring game. It would probably be a little unfair to judge them on that,” added Park. “They are a strong side and have several good players who we are aware of.”

Lions have won seven of their nine contests at the halfway stage.