RISING star Gavin Kilkenny admits seeing housemate Mark Travers break into the first team last season has given him inspiration for the upcoming campaign.

The teenager played a leading role in Cherries’ 3-0 win over Lyon on Saturday in the final game of pre-season, scoring a goal and being named man-of-the-match.

And having seen fellow Irishman Travers burst onto the scene at Vitality Stadium in similar fashion with a stand-out display against Tottenham in May, Kilkenny is hoping to follow in his footsteps with the Premier League campaign now less than a week away.

He told the Daily Echo: “Before (we came to Bournemouth in 2016) we knew of each other, but last year I lived with Mark.

“Me and Mark are good mates, we get on really well me and Mark.

“Two Irish lads, we stick together. The Irish always stick together.”

Asked if he could use Travers’ surprise rise into the first team last season as inspiration, Kilkenny added: “Yeah definitely.

“I was buzzing for him last year. I was over the moon seeing him (play) and just seeing him enjoy himself.

“If I could do anything compared to what Mark’s been doing, it would be unbelievable for me.”

Having impressed with Shaun Cooper’s under-21s last season, playing his part in winning the Central League Cup, Kilkenny has featured prominently for the senior side this summer.

The midfielder started in matches against Girona and Brentford before his majestic performance against Lyon at the weekend.

Kilkenny, who featured on the right wing against the French giants, played a key role in the side’s opening goal, driving forwards before picking out fellow academy graduate Nnamdi Ofoborh, who teed up Callum Wilson to score.

The 19-year-old then netted himself, receiving possession from Wilson and shifting the ball out of his feet before firing low past goalkeeper Anthony Lopes from the edge of the box.

Joshua King sealed the 3-0 success late on and Kilkenny admits he thoroughly relished the afternoon.

He said: “It was unbelievable. I’m still trying to process it now, but it was really good, I really enjoyed it.

“I can’t complain (with how pre-season has gone). I’m just taking it day by day and seeing what happens. Saturday was probably the icing on the cake so far.

“It was obviously the last game of pre-season so I just thought give it my all and see what happens and that’s what I did. The goal is only adding to that.”

On his first-half strike, Kilkenny added: “It was just a touch out of my feet and then I think he (the defender) came in, so I just took a second touch and the keeper was obviously moving to the left so I just put it back across him and in it went.

“I was delighted, buzzing to score.”

Kilkenny, an Ireland under-19 international, left home at the age 16 to move to England and sign with Cherries from St Kevin’s Boys in the summer of 2016.

But he revealed he had some special guests in the stands at the weekend to watch his memorable performance.

He said: “My mum and dad were there. They just took a lucky gamble on it a few months ago.

“They probably didn’t expect me to play at all.

“They come over a lot, every second week. They’re over here so it’s good.”

He added: “It was a big decision (to move to England) and a big sacrifice, but I just need to keep going and make the sacrifice worth it.”