TYRONNE Bowers has renamed Wembley finalists Sholing as ‘Team Dinosaur”.
As he revealed in yesterday’s Daily Echo, the 35-year-old is to retire after this weekend’s showpiece FA Vase final against West Auckland.
The game will also be the final one for Bowers’ teammates Marc Diaper and Lee Bright.
“What with me, Marc and Brighty, we’re Team Dinosaur!” he laughed.
“But, seriously, we’ve got loads of good youth players coming through here and that’s probably why we’ve done so well.
“Having so many young players coming through, plus experience, makes it a good mix.
“Wattsy (Nick Watts) has done well and Carts (Mike Carter) has really stood out. Carts got a knockback from Saints when he was young but, for me, he should be playing higher. But that’s his decision to make, not mine. Only he can decide.”
Bowers started playing football as an eight-year-old in the same Portchester Rangers team as Diaper, laughing: “I was probably kicking everything that moved before that.”
He went on to play for Heathfield Eagles and Worthies (Winchester), gaining Southampton and Hampshire schoolboy honours, before being taken on as an AFC Bournemouth trainee.
Following his release from Dean Court, he spent a year with Fareham Town, five years at Salisbury City and three helping Eastleigh’s rise to the Conference South.
The pocket dynamo signed for the Boatmen in July 2006 via a loan spell at Lymington & New Milton playing under ex-Saint Nicky Banger.
“I’d always dreamed of playing at Wembley but once I went out of the pro game I never thought it was going to happen,” he said. “But as every game went by in the Vase, I thought ‘this could be a reality’.
” Sad as he is to be quitting, Bowers feels now is the right time.
“If you’d said to me a couple of years ago I’d be retiring I’d have said ‘no way’, but I realised when we had all that rain this season that I enjoyed the weekends off.
“It’s not so much the football I’ll miss as the banter, laughs and camaraderie of the lads.
“I’ll miss playing, but not to the extent I thought I would, and I won’t miss waking up with aching legs.
“I can’t see myself managing either – I’m too lairy for that!
“Can you imagine me on the sidelines trying to talk to the ref...!?”