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Blackfield Cherries link bearing fruit
8:00am Saturday 26th October 2013 in Sport
GLENN Burnett has again profited from his strong relationship with AFC Bournemouth to bring another exciting Cherries youngster into the Blackfield & Langley fold.
Right winger Sam Kirkwood, who recently rounded off an incredible 33-pass move to crown Cherries under-18s’ 3-0 win over QPR, has joined the Watersiders to gain experience of the senior men’s game - just as Bournemouth’s Brandon Goodship did last season.
“Sam’s only 17, but he came on at Totton & Eling last Saturday (a 5-1 win) and was magnificent,” said Burnett. “He caused lots of problems with his crossing ability.
“Again I’ve like to thank Paul Groves (Bournemouth’s youth team manager/head of coaching) for his help. It’s a nice connection for us to have and I really appreciate it.” The fact that Kirkwood is a Southampton lad is an added bonus in Burnett’s book.
When he took over the Blackfield managerial reins from Ashley Vickers during the summer, Burnett was determined to add more local flavour to the squad that lifted the Sydenhams Premier crown last term.
“We’ve made quite a few changes to the side that won the league and I wanted to get more Southampton lads into the side,” he explained.
“Don’t get me wrong, the boys who came in from outside the area did a fantastic job for the club last season.
“But the fact they were more spread out made it difficult and sometimes training numbers were down.
“(Coach) John McFarlane got a bit frustrated with only having eight or nine at some sessions, whereas this year we’ve brought in more local lads and numbers are good. We’ve got real togetherness in the side.”
With just one point separating the top five teams in the Sydenhams Premier, fourth-placed Blackfield will hope to keep the pressure on with a Waterside derby win at Fawley AFC this afternoon.
Burnett’s men have dropped just two of the last available 18 league points, while free-falling Fawley have lost six and drawn one of their last seven games.
Blackfield will be at full strength today providing ex-Saints defender Mike Byrne came safely though midweek training following hamstring trouble.
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