BOSS Eddie Howe heaped praise on former Cherries strength coach Ben Donachie and added: “We are very thankful for what he has done for us.”

Donachie was the Dorset club’s lead strength and conditioning coach, having first arrived at Vitality Stadium as a first-team sports scientist in October 2012.

He made the move to join MLS outfit Chicago Fire as director of performance last month.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “Ben has been absolutely brilliant for us in recent seasons. He has done a lot work with the players in the gym on improving their strength and conditioning work.

“His wife is from Chicago and for family reasons he needed to go back to that area. It was a family choice not necessarily a professional choice but we wish him well in his future career.

“He is someone we really like and we are very thankful for what he has done for us.”

The manager added: “You are indebted to a lot of staff behind the scenes who do such incredible work with the players.

“Ben was someone that instantly got the players by him, which in that field is sometimes quite difficult.

“Players are field-based, they don’t necessarily want to spend too much time in the gym but Ben was someone who had a great way with them, a good knowledge base and got the players to work really efficiently.

“Throughout our life in the Premier league he had been a constant. We are going to miss him, for sure, but that’s life. You are always going to lose staff on the journey.”