History of the AFC Bournemouth
The club's history began in 1890 when it was a club formed by Boscombe St John's Institute. This club only lasted nine years before it disbanded and reformed in 1899 as Boscombe FC. You will still hear fans sometimes shout "Boscombe - back of the net" when the team wins a corner. Today the club's name is AFC Bournemouth. The initials stand for Association Football Club. This change was made in the 1970's when the club also changed its strip to the now famous red and black modelled on AC Milan. The name change in the 1971 enabled the club to get more noticed with being at the top of what would then have been the fourth division at least at the start of the season with teams being listed alphabetically.
The club was located at Dean Court in Kings Park in 1910 when Mr JE Cooper-Dean granted the club a lease to some land in the park. It is said that the club got its nickname of the Cherries from either the fact that the land was once a cherry orchard or that it was because the team wore red shirts - it has never really been resolved for sure why they became the Cherries though.
The club mainly spent its years in the third tier of English football and was among the teams to be the least relegated or promoted such was the familiar lack of progress for AFC Bournemouth fans. Yet, the club has had some famous FA Cup wins against Manchester United in 1957 and 1984. The Harry Redknapp years in the 1980's were the first time that the club reached the second tier of the English leagues. Apart from an FA Trophy win in 1984 against Hull City there had not been a great deal of success for the Cherries who were not making many headlines, but in the last 15 years it has all been very different. The club has survived periods of administration twice and was very near to going out of existence but for the fans love for the club that extended to them putting every penny they had into it to keep it going in 1997.
It is the last seven years that have been truly remarkable. Having been hit with a -17 points total at the start of the 2008-09 season, Eddie Howe took over mid-season and steered the club to safety from being relegated to non-league. He then got the team promoted to League one in 2009-10 and such was his success that he left the club in 2011 to manage Burnley in the Championship. AFC Bournemouth meanwhile just missed out on promotion to that league through the play-offs in 2010-11, but in October 2012 Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall came back to AFC Bournemouth as the new management team and won promotion to the Championship having lifted the club from 21st place to second by the end of the season.
The last two years have been equally sensational for the Cherries. With the backing of its new Russian owners it set about attacking the Championship and finished tenth in its first season back at that level for more than 20 years. Then, last season Eddie Howe and AFC Bournemouth won the Championship and now find themselves in the Premier League! The last team to have gone through all of the English divisions to reach the top was Swansea City and the hope is that AFC Bournemouth can establish themselves now in the Premier League like that club has. If you want to read more on the club's history visit http://www.afcb.co.uk/
AFC Bournemouth play fast football from the back. You will see the team use their full backs in an attacking style on the wings and the wingers too have been key to the team's recent success. Simon Francis is the marauding right back who loves getting forward and you may see AFC Bournemouth's new record signing Tyrone Mings at left back who cost £8 million this summer from Ipswich Town. Marc Pugh is known for his Cruyff turn which you might see more than once in a game and Matt Ritchie is an amazing finisher who has a terrific left foot yet plays normally on the right wing - so expect him to cut in now and again. Callum Wilson is the striker that will use his pace to stretch defences and he is also the team's top goalscorer. Yann Kermorgant is the main penalty taker and has a habit of hitting some stunning free kicks as well.
New signings to look out for are: Josh King (striker/winger), Christian Atsu (striker/winger), Sylvain Distin (Central defender), Tyrone Mings (left back), Artur Boruc (keeper), Adam Federici (keeper)
All the AFC Bournemouth fans are excited about the forthcoming season as it will be the club's first in the Premier league. The season tickets were snapped up very quickly and the club is likely to have full capacity for all its games at home at Dean Court - 11,700 capacity. The stadium's naming rights have also changed this summer from Goldsands Stadium to the Vitality Stadium so you'll probably hear that name when TV crews televise AFC Bournemouth home games. Everyone is looking forward to taking on the big teams and as long as the team stays up everyone will be more than satisfied as this will be the hardest season the club has ever had.
The game against Philadelphia Union
While Philadelphia Union is in the middle of its season, AFC Bournemouth have not played since May 2nd. The fans are looking forward to seeing how the new players will fit into the team, but the main thing we hope for is no injuries at this stage. I put Philadelphia Union as slight favourites for this game, but the Cherries like being the underdogs.