Football supporters of any ilk or generation seem to possess a razor sharp memory about any event or occurrence which happened to involve their team. Take your sides next opponent and you’ll be sure to instantly think back to a classic match, a major talking point or a real drubbing you’d rather forget but just can’t.
To give you an example, Bournemouth play Hull City this coming Saturday, and there are plenty of facts and stats involving games between the Cherries and Mike Phelan’s Tigers.
Bournemouth defeated Hull to win the Associate Members Cup in 1984 in a match scheduled for Wembley, but played at Boothferry Park due to the Horse of the Year show wrecking the National Stadiums pitch.
Cherries idol Luther Blissett scored a four timer on his home debut against Hull in 1989 and last, but by no means least, the last time Bournemouth defeated the men from West Yorkshire at Dean Court came in 1995.
That game against Hull was hugely significant for the future of the South Coast side as a certain Edward John Frank Howe made his senior debut in a 2-0 victory. The baby faced defender with standard ‘90s popstar curtains had an outstanding match at right-back.
Although a star was a while off being born, Howe gave a glimpse into the enormous potential he had and demonstrated before his career was cut short at just 31 because of a serious knee injury. Some would say this premature end was perhaps a blessing in disguise as Howe has of course since guided Bournemouth to one remarkable achievement after another.
Possibly his biggest accomplishment to date was actually keeping the Cherries in the Premier League when many tipped Bournemouth to fall back into the Championship after just one year. This has enabled players that you could have never dreamt of seeing at Dean Court such as Jordon Ibe or Jack Wilshere pulling on red and black every other Saturday.
With the wealth of modern day football meaning clubs at the top end are regularly signing players for extortionate sums of money, the need to develop players through academies and youth set-ups is perhaps not the necessity it is if you are competing in League One or Two however.
That said, and perhaps because of the way Howe started his Bournemouth career, he is still keen to progress players through the ranks at with Cup competitions seemingly the ideal launch pad for youngsters.
Due to the rapid rise of Bournemouth, their set-up is a little below some of the more established Premier League clubs, but nevertheless, it still seems able to unearth a gem like it always has done.
On their way to the League Cup quarter-final in 2015, promising central defender Baily Cargil played in every game and didn’t look out of his depth one bit. Sadly Cargil has struggled with injury since, but he’s certainly one to still keep an eye on.
Last year’s FA Cup campaign started for Bournemouth with a narrow 2-1 win over Birmingham City, a game in which Jordan Lee and Matt Butcher handed senior starts and in the season’s final game, 17 year-old centre half Corey Jordan was named on the bench for Howe’s side which were defeated 3-1 at Manchester United.
Reward for Jordan’s progress was not only his maiden first team involvement at Old Trafford, but a senior contract over the summer too. Upon signing the one year deal which will surely be extended given events so far this season, Jordan told the official AFC Bournemouth website that “I am quite a clam player on the ball. I don’t really get fazed by any challenges.”
Bournemouth seem to always play Cardiff in the off-season and this year was no different and in a game that was every bit the drab encounter you’d expect there was one silver-lining, Corey Jordan was superb at the back.
My first thought was that this was throwback to Hull in 1995, a player with similar attributes to Jordan’s current manager, playing the way Howe did on that cold December afternoon. The defender looked composed, assured, organised and at ease with the ball at his feet. His calm exterior was telling also as for a 17-year-old kid to be thrown in against Championship opposition and excel is no mean feat.
The next step was to make his senior debut and that was something Jordan achieved in the recent EFL cup defeat to Preston. Granted the home loss was arguably the worst showing of Howe’s second coming at Bournemouth, but nevertheless, Jordan’s debut was a positive as he didn’t look overawed in a makeshift Cherries back four.
If he continues to make progress at the same rate as the previous 12 months, those first team opportunities will certainly become far more frequent, especially given Bournemouth’s lack of options in that area. Possibly a loan move to a footballing side in the lower reaches of English football may be of benefit too as that is an education like no other for a player with potential but still wet behind the ears.
Playing against battle hardened sides with big strong centre forwards like Hull in 1995 certainly did Eddie Howe no harm as he proved that age is no barrier if you’re good enough and nearly 21 years on, Corey Jordan will be hoping he can follow in his managers footsteps and become a mainstay of the Bournemouth defence for many years to come too.