Archive for Steve Fletcher

PREVIEW: Bradford (Home)

Posted in Bournemouth Blog with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2010 by hoare89

By Joshua Hoare

The Cherries head into a busy easter weekend of football where they will firstly host Former England manager Peter Taylor’s Bradford City tomorrow, before a daunting trip to runaway divison leaders Rochdale on Monday 5th April.

The division is as close as it has been all season, with just seven points separating second place and seventh. Eddie Howe’s men know any slips ups from now until the end of the season could see them miss out on automatic promotion and unthinkably even a play off place.

Captain Jason Pearce could make a return in defence for Saturday’s game, with Ryan Garry also close to match fitness after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. As I mentioned before in my previous blogs, it is Squeeky-bum time at the top and bottom of the table. Rochdale have pretty much sewn up the league title, their strikeforce of Chris Dagnall and Chris O’Grady has produced thirty-seven goals this season, and who said great strikeforce partnerships were finished in football? It is fair to say the top four premiership sides all prefer a 4-3-3 formation with one main striker al la Rooney, Drogba, Van Persie and Torres.

A nice gesture was made to Steve Fletcher in the week, when the Cherries announced they are to rename the North Stand after him. I wrote about the legend last week in this blog, and I am very pleased to see our all time record appearance holder rewarded for his loyalty and love for the club. So well done Bournemouth and of course Steve Fletcher. It just goes to show nice guys do sometimes finish first, wouldn’t it be nice for Fletch and the young side to end the season with promotion?

Saturday’s game kicks off at 3pm, Jeff Goulding is still suspended following his red card at Grimsby, he will sit out the second of his three game ban.

Let’s hope for three points and a point away on Monday would do very nicely 🙂

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All Time Legend Feature #4: Steve Fletcher

Posted in Bournemouth Blog with tags , , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by hoare89

Promotion hero: Fletch celebrates after volleying the Cherries in front against Lincoln City

By Joshua Hoare

IF you asked any Cherries fan who their all time legend would be, few could argue with those who nominate Steve Fletcher.

The Hartlepool-born forward has played a record five hundred and forty-six times, amassing ninety-six goals, he is the club’s record appearance holder. A cult figure for the Cherries, Steve Fletcher scored a decisive goal (left) in the 2003 Play-off final win over Lincoln City, which ensured the Cherries promotion to the Second Division.

Now, 37, Fletcher is in his second spell at the club and has helped his close friend and now boss Eddie Howe into the top six of League Two 2009/10.

The Big man is regarded a legend amongst the Dean Court faithful largely due to his ‘never say die’ attitude, his bullishness and a playing style that has help support fellow cherry legends to plenty of goals, such Warren Feeney, James Hayter and of course Jermaine Defoe, who I wrote about last week – https://hoare89.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/all-time-legend-feature-2-jermaine-defoe/

His goals record might not be as great as you would expect for a striker, however Fletcher’s style is very similar to Emile Heskey I would say, Ok not prolific, but arguably very effective and difficult to play against.

The best compliment anyone could pay to Big Fletch his desire and love for the club, has never been in question. His relationship with the fans is tremendous, and when you ask your players to stand up and be counted, He is always there.

A lot has been written about Fletch’s influence in the dressing room too, he is another like I Rio, as mentioned in this blog, a bit of a joker and its little surprise that he was the first number Eddie Howe called when appointed First Team boss to come back to Dean Court.

Cherries Legend Rating: 8/10

Relive that famous day at The Millennium Stadium, Bournemouth 5-2 Lincoln City and of course STEVE FLETCHER’s GOAL

All Time Legend Feature #2: Jermaine Defoe

Posted in Bournemouth Blog with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2010 by hoare89

By Joshua Hoare

The arrival of Jermaine Defoe at Bournemouth in the season of 2000-2001, was a career defining moment for the prolific England and Tottenham Hotspur striker. The youngster joined the cherries on loan for the season from West Ham, again managed by Harry Redknapp.

Record breaker: Defoe was an instant hit for the cherries

Defoe, scored an incredible 19 goals in 29 appearances, which prompted many to stand up and take notice of a future England star. But it was a goal scored by Defoe in a game against Cambridge away, that would propel the young Jermaine to stardom.

In the 64th minute, Defoe controlled a long ball down from Steve Fletcher, to round the keeper and score his 10th consecutive goal for the Cherries, equalling John Aldridge’s post-war record set in 1988, only the great Dixie Dean (12) and Pele (14) have scored more consecutively at any competitive level.

West Ham manager Harry Redknapp tipped him for stardom, saying, “He’s done great. I sent him out to Bournemouth to get some experience playing league football and he’s coped marvellously. To score 10 goals in 10 games is a terrific achievement.

“He’s a bright lad who’s full of confidence. Nothing knocks him, he’s a typical goal-scorer. If he misses, he’ll be there the next time looking for a goal. He’s a kid with a big future.”

Since that wonderful season on the south coast, Defoe has simply not looked back, scoring over 167 times in 390 appearances for West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur respectively (2 spells).

Harry's Gem: Back amongst the goals at White Hart Lane under Redknapp

Defoe has won over 40 caps for England, scoring 11 goals in the process, incidently his footballing career began at local Sunday league side Senrab, based in London, the side has produced players such as Lee Bowyer, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Ledley King.

But it is the special relationship that Defoe has formed with Harry Redknapp that has ignited his career. The pair have worked at West Ham, Portsmouth and now  Tottenham. And Defoe could not speak more highly of his mentor. ‘That’s why Harry Redknapp is such a great manager. You can speak to him about anything and you feel relaxed.’

Defoe will be remembered at Dean Court for his goals, his pace and his records. A wonderful player who has blossomed into one of England’s most feared strikers. A predator that recieves a 9 scoring in the legend charts for his influence and affection he created with Cherries fans all over the land.

Bournemouth Legend Rating:   9/10