Friday 19 January 2018

Cherries rise to top from the ashes

IRELAND'S new recruit Harry Arter is heading for the Premier League next season after Bournemouth all but secured a place in the top flight.

Last night's 3-0 win at home to Bolton means that only a 19-0 defeat on the final day of the season next weekend will deny the Cherries promotion.

Midfielder Arter, who earned his first call-up to the senior Ireland squad for last month's qualfier with Poland, was a key figure for the club, scoring eight times in 42 league games but fellow Irishmen Ian Harte (4 appearances) and Eunan O'Kane (11 games) played minor roles.

Boss Eddie Howe has overseen the club's survival, at a stage when they almost went out of business, to that place in the Premier League.

"It's difficult to put it into words," said Howe. "Now is a time to look back and think where we were six years ago and how difficult it was to run the football club with bailiffs coming in near enough every day, staff and players not getting paid and people being made redundant.

"It doesn't seem real to be where we are now, although of course we know it is. A lot of people deserve a lot of credit for how we have risen from near enough the ashes.

"It was great to see the supporters sharing in the success because this is a unique club in respect that they kept the club going.

"I was there in 1997 when buckets were being handed round and they were putting in what they could. They played a huge part in the club existing and deserve a lot of credit for this moment."

Chairman Jeff Moyston said: "It was all about survival. We couldn't afford a first-class postage stamp in those days, let alone a footballer. We had a transfer embargo and that created a siege mentality.

"I am a great believer in looking back at history."

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