AS far as fortnights go in football, Cherries youngster Jaidon Anthony has had a fruitful time to remember.

He scored in the Central League Cup final to help the club’s under-21s triumph against Carlisle at St George’s Park.

The forward then came off the bench for the first team in Saturday’s league clash at Wycombe Wanderers – his longest appearance at Championship level.

The 21-year-old this week collected another piece of silverware, scoring in a penalty shootout against Eastleigh to help Cherries claim the Hampshire Senior Cup for the first time since 1989.

For Anthony, he will always be grateful for those moments with the club who took a gamble on him - when others said no.

Bournemouth Echo:

The Hackney-born star spent 10 years on the books at Arsenal, plying his trade through the Gunners’ youth ranks before being released by the north London outfit.

Anthony admitted himself he went “all over the country” in search of a new club – even to Hull and back.

And while a number of other sides turned down the forward, Cherries saw something in him and are now reaping the rewards.

“You can’t really put it into words really,” he told the Daily Echo.

“I went to a good few trials after I got released from Arsenal and a lot didn’t say yes.

“I went all over the country really. Hull and stuff like that.

“It’s hard. Especially when you have been at a club for so long and you’ve already been told no.

“As a player, you always have to keep that belief in yourself, or it won’t really work.

“I always had a lot of belief in myself that I would go on to do well.

“There were a few clubs that said no and this was the club who took a gamble on me and luckily it’s paid off.

“I am very thankful to this club for giving me the opportunity and I am grateful that I could push through the academy, get into positions like this, representing the first team and giving my all.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Exciting forward Anthony has enjoyed a stellar breakthrough season at Cherries.

He made his first-team debut on his 21st birthday against Preston North End at Vitality Stadium in December – registering an assist for fellow academy graduate Sam Surridge.

The talented youngster then penned a new contract with the Dorset club back in the same month.

Anthony’s focus is now to assist Jonathan Woodgate’s side in getting back to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.

But he admits it is surreal to think while on loan less than a year ago, he was going into a play-off campaign to try to send non-league Weymouth into the National League.

Anthony netted in the Terras’ play-off semi-final win over Dorking Wanderers and also scored a penalty in the shootout victory against Dartford, which sealed promotion for the non-league side – then under boss Mark Molesley.

Asked how he could compare the meteoric rise between play-off scenarios, the forward said: “When you look at it like that, it’s very surreal.

“Last year, I wouldn’t have thought I would have been in this position.

“Luckily, I’m here. I feel like I am ready and, like I say, it’s incomparable but we’re ready and hopefully we can do well in the play-offs.

“All players want to play in big games and as a young player, you can only benefit from if you’re in the squad, in and around it, you are learning about these games.

“As a player you believe in yourself and I feel like I am ready.

“If you can get on then it’s a bonus and hopefully you can help the team. You can only benefit from that in your career.

“When called upon, I will be ready for that so, definitely during training, in these games and the under-21 games, it’s always an opportunity to show the manager what you can do.

“It’s every kid’s dream to play in the Premier League and it would be an unbelievable feeling to be amongst those players. Hopefully we can pull it off.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Anthony could be involved when Cherries host Stoke City on Saturday in their final regulation Championship fixture before the play-offs.

Following that game, the Dorset club will know who they will face in their semi-final encounter, with the first leg on Monday, May 17.

Brentford, Swansea and Barnsley are the three other clubs vying to compete for a place in the top flight.