Steve Fletcher: The unsung heroes behind the scenes at AFC Bournemouth
PUBLISHED: 10:54 25 October 2016
Anthony Blake Photography
From the masseur to the chairman, AFC Bournemouth legend Steve Fletcher reveals the hard working team who help keep the players at the top of their game both on and off the pitch
Given the global exposure the Premier League enjoys, our players have started to become household names from Bournemouth to Bangkok, America to Australia and beyond. Integral to every winning performance that this worldwide audience gets to see are the efforts of a collective of individuals; this extends far beyond manager Eddie Howe’s starting eleven on a match day. Just as important as those on the pitch is our ‘team behind the team’ at AFC Bournemouth.
While it’s the players that have ultimate say in our fortunes as a club, without the backroom staff, they wouldn’t be able to perform to the best of their abilities. Whether it’s our medical and sports science departments, who help the players to stay in peak physical condition to someone like our player liaison officer Jimmy Glass, who arranges transport to away games, everyone has a vital part to play.
The main similarity between our players and this extended team is that everyone at the club is grounded and extremely hard-working. The main reason for that is our manager Eddie Howe. He is down to earth, professional and totally dedicated to the success of the team.
Aside from genuinely liking everyone I work with, I feel it’s important in my role as club ambassador to pop my head around the door of each department once or twice a week to see how people are doing. The biggest complement I can pay is that no individual stands out more than another because each person has their own job and they each do it brilliantly.
Our chairman Jeff (Mostyn) is a fantastic individual to have around the place. Win, lose or draw, he always comes down to have a chat with the players after a match and they have a good relationship with him. Jeff has stayed loyal to the club through some very difficult times and I couldn’t be happier for him that we are where we are today – in the Premier League. And then there’s Maxim Demin, owner of the club, who has been a godsend for AFC Bournemouth. Without his backing, we wouldn’t be in the position we are currently.
There are many unsung heroes too. For example our masseur Pat Cunningham spends a great deal of time with the players. Pat has a big personality and if you’ve lost a game on a weekend maybe, he’s a great person to crack some jokes. Players always feel better for spending time in his company.
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