Vital Saints interviews Vital Cherries Editor DJ
This interview is part of an each way interview whereby both editors have answered questions from the opposing camp.
To start the ball rolling the first question is - What is the most memorable moment for you so far as a fan?
The Auto-windscreens Final at Wembley in 1998, just a year after nearly losing the club following administration was a special day. Winning the Division Three Play-Off Final at the Millennium Stadium in 2003 is also obviously up there, as is winning promotion last season away at Burton, but pulling off the Greatest Escape following a seventeen point penalty was the best moment, simply because defeat away at Chester or at home to Grimsby the following week would have seen us relegated out of the football league and probably out of existence.
Next came the worst.
There have been a few, most off the pitch due to financial problems, but despite watching us get relegated at Wrexham in 2002 and Carlisle in 2008, my lowest point was actually during the Greatest Escape season! It followed a home defeat to Brentford in 2009. It was the second defeat on the trot and left us just one point above the relegation zone, with three games to play, with a trip to Chester who were in the drop zone the following week. I really feared it could have been the end of us, I sat in my seat (for the first time that day) at the final whistle with my head in my hands... but thankfully I went from despair to ecstasy in less than a week!
The third Question was - Who is your favourite former player?
Jermain Defoe. Admittedly he was only a season long loan, but the excitement the crowd had when he received the ball was just unreal, it raised the hair on the back of your neck. The like probably will never be seen again. A young lad, scoring 10 league goals in 10 consecutive games, he just received the ball and you expected that something would happen and he didn't often disappoint!
Next question was - Who is your favourite current player?
Steve Fletcher, the man lives and breathes AFC Bournemouth. He'll be 38 next season and he probably gets better with age. All of my highlights as a Cherries supporter he was involved in. The Great Escape season in 1995, Wembley in 1998, Millennium Stadium 2003, he scored the goal that kept us in the Football League in 2009 and only missed one single league fixture during the promotion campaign last season. He's a legend.
Question 5 which should be the hardest of them - Name your AFCB dream XI
Almost an impossible question. I must have altered this three or four times already...but I'm sticking with this despite not being happy about having no spot for John Bailey or Wade Elliott!
GK: Neil Moss
RB: Neil Young
CB: Eddie Howe
CB: Ian Cox
LB: Jamie Vincent
CM: Matt Holland
CM: Darren Anderton
CM: Carl Fletcher
F: James Hayter
F: Steve Fletcher
F: Jermain Defoe
Question 6 Then switched to the other side of the coin - Who is the worst player to have played for AFC Bournemouth?
Would be rude to single one person out! Loan players Adam Green, Asmir Begovic and David Button all had spells to forget. As did Paul Telfer and Jo Tessem under Kevin Bond and Roger Boli a fair few year ago.
The next question asked is - What is the best goal ever scored by your team?
The best individual goal is probably edged by Brett Pitman last season at home to Burton, an unbelievable strike which he chested up, before volleying from 30 yards. The ball looped, but with pace, straight into the top corner of the goal. It was one of those where the thought 'don't shoot from there' runs through your mind, but before I finished the thought I was leaping around in the stands.
But the best team goal was at the Millennium Stadium, counter attacking football at its best. A punch from the Neill Moss from a corner, played out wide to Elliott who crossed for Stephen Purches to plant home. If it was Brazil it would probably still be on an ongoing loop on Sky Sports News.
Question eight turns us to this season. - What are your hopes for this season?
Ultimately as an AFC Bournemouth supporter the only thing that matters is surviving financially so we are around come the following season! Thankfully we appear to be enjoying a more stable period off the pitch.
Next question asked how do you feel Bournemouth/Southampton will do?
I think we will surprise quite a few people, We've only been away from the division a couple of seasons. Granted the league has changed quite a bit, but we have a better squad than we did last time around and I think we can enjoy a solid season back in the division we think of as our natural level. Mid-table will do nicely.
Southampton should in all honesty walk the division. The financial clout your club now has since administration is on a different level to most clubs in the third tier. The money you spent last season really should have seen you in the play-offs at least even with the points penalty, anything less than automatic promotion would be laughable.
Lastly the most important question of all. - How will the first game between our two teams go?
Difficult to tell. Despite it being the first competitive game between ourselves since we knocked you out of the same competition in 1987. It is still only the League Cup so either side might not field their strongest sides. Win, lose or draw I'll certainly enjoy the experience.
Thank you DJ for some excellent replies. It is much appreciated and I hope that we have three good games this season between our clubs.
To read Vital Bournemouth's interview with a Vital Saint fan - click here