STAR striker Brett Pitman has reiterated his desire to remain at Dean Court after admitting that the rumour mill had come to his attention during the close-season.

Pitman was Cherries’ top scorer last term with 17 goals and that impressive form inevitably led to his name being linked with other clubs, including League One outfit Brighton.

The talented forward, however, is keen to continue his long association with Cherries.

“I heard a few rumours and read the same things as everyone else I’d imagine, but I don’t think there was any doubt (that I would stay),” the 21-year-old told the Echo.

“I’m here and I’m happy to be here at the moment.”

Pitman looked in good form following surgery at the start of the summer when he scored in the friendly victory over Dorchester Town last week, as well as netting a penalty against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

Pitman confirmed that he was back to full fitness after his double hernia surgery – and a minor ankle knock – and paid tribute to the work of conditioning coach Jon Dalzell, who has linked up with Cherries during the pre-season campaign.

“It’s been good and a little bit different from pre-seasons I’ve done in the past,” explained Pitman.

“Jon’s come in and brought a new scientific approach and I think the lads have enjoyed it.

“It’s nice to score goals but it’s more important to get fit and I think everyone’s working towards Bury.”