HARRY Arter is convinced he is better prepared than ever to fill Cherries’ midfield void and shine in League One – after learning the hard way during his debut third flight campaign.

The talented playmaker will have big boots to fill if he is picked to start this afternoon’s season opener at Charlton Athletic.

Cherries boss Lee Bradbury is set to field a new-look team after a number of key players left the club during the summer – including engine-room stars Danny Hollands and Anton Robinson.

Those departures came after Marvin Bartley – another first choice in midfield – had already been sold last season.

Arter, who was restricted to just seven league starts last term by the form of that trio, could be in line to get his chance against the Addicks.

He was substituted at half-time in the first game of last season when Cherries lost at Charlton.

But having patiently learned his trade through a watching brief and a productive loan spell at Carlisle, Arter believes he is now more ready to take centre stage.

He told the Daily Echo: “I am looking forward to trying to fill their boots, and I have got other competition to try to get myself in front of.

“I wasn’t expected to play when I first came to the club, but I had a good pre-season and turned Eddie Howe’s head to give me a chance in the first game.

“It didn’t really work out against Charlton, as an individual and as a team, and the first half wasn’t great.

“I wasn’t great and the manager decided to take me off, which was probably the best decision in hindsight because it made me learn and watch from the stands and the bench.

“As much as I wasn’t playing, I still gained a lot of experience. I have learned a helluva lot from last season and, hopefully, I can show that on the pitch.”

Contracted to the club until summer 2013, Arter was handed Robinson’s old number eight jersey after the ex-Weymouth captain joined Huddersfield earlier this week.

He added: “I was really happy that Bradders gave me the chance to have my favourite number and, hopefully, I can do what Anton did in it.

“It doesn’t mean that I am going to play – I don’t think that one bit. Everyone in football knows it doesn’t work like that. You could be number 99 and you would still have as much of a chance.

“But for my own piece of mind, I like number eight and am pleased Bradders let me have it.”

Steven Gregory and Mark Molesley are the other leading contenders to feature in central midfield against Charlton.