CHERRIES defender Brennan Camp insisted his loan spell at Southern League South Dorchester Town physically took his game to the “next level”.

Camp, who also had brief loan stints at Poole Town and Weymouth last season, believes his 10-game period with the Magpies helped secure his two-year professional contract at Vitality Stadium, writes Neil Walton.

Speaking to Dorset Echo, the 18-year-old credited his loan stay with the Avenue outfit as a “stepping stone” to penning his fresh Cherries deal.

He said: “That was one of the major stepping stones to helping me get the deal.

“With my time at Poole I only had one game and when I moved to Dorch that really put me in good stead for the contract.

“Physically it took me to the next level and made me feel more comfortable slipping back down to under-18 football when I played for Bournemouth.

“I felt I was head and shoulders above some of the other teams physically with the demands of competitive football at Dorch – that was a really good part of the year for me.

“I only played one game for Weymouth – and won a trophy – so that was a good way to top off a good season for me.

“But I definitely think Dorchester helped me, gave me opportunities and just a lot of game time which really helped me play almost two games a week – that’s important for a footballer.”

Asked what facets of his game he felt had improved most, Camp said: “Just that physicality and the competitiveness to win – it’s all about the three points and you’ve got to do what you can to get them.

“That side of the game was good for me because that’s what I enjoy. Also heading and different types of playing out from the back.

“Obviously at Bournemouth you play out from the back, you can’t hoof it long so I had to adapt quite a bit at Dorch.

“It’s the ugly side of the game that you need to learn as well, so that was good for me.”

Camp has also set a modest target with the new season on the horizon.

He said: “My goal is to become a regular starter for the (Cherries) under-21s, get a lot of game time and improve as a player.

“Hopefully that puts me in good stead for the second year of my contract to progress even further and hopefully get a chance with the first team – that’s the main objective.”