Former Kingfield favourites return
9:57am, Thu 18th Jul 2013
Woking v AFC Bournemouth
3pm on Saturday 20 July 2013
Cards fans will be hoping to see former favourites Shwan Jalal, Harry Arter and Darryl Flahavan in action on Saturday when Championship side AFC Bournemouth, who are bringing their full first team squad to Kingfield, will provide stiff competition for Garry Hill’s side. New signing Josh Payne will no doubt figure in midfield for the Cards, who are likely to be giving run-outs to one or two trialist strikers as Garry looks to add to his squad. Of course, it would be nice if the Cherries would lend us Jayden Stockley again!
This will be the Cards’ third pre-season friendly and their first at Kingfield after trips to Staines Town (lost 3-2) and, on Tuesday evening, to Dover Athletic (won 1-0). The latter game was played at a lively pace – which may be difficult to replicate on Saturday if the weather is as hot as it has been recently.
Garry seems to have largely sorted out his defence and midfield bar signing a second goalkeeper, although both John Goddard and Harry Beautyman might be tempting additions in midfield, so the focus will mainly be on forwards. Gavin McCallum’s displays so far suggest he’s keen to gain a new contract, whilst Anthony McNamee has had two run-outs on the other flank. Ollie Taylor, a 19 year-old striker from Wycombe Wanderers, led the line in the first half at Dover, replaced at the interval by ex-Ebbsfleet striker Moses Ashikodi. But Garry won’t be panicked into making signings at this stage, so it would not be surprising to see other options in the remaining friendly games or even a signing or two on the eve of the season.
After narrowly avoiding relegation to the Conference at the end of the 2008-09 season the Cherries have been experiencing a very successful period in their history. They gained promotion to League One the following season, reached the League One play-off semi-finals in 2010-11 and were then runners-up last season to secure their promotion to the Championship.
Shwan Jalal is about to start his sixth season at the club but will have to fight hard for the number one jersey, not only against Darryl Flahavan but also against Australian Ryan Allsop. Jalal was injured in the Cherries’ pre-season trip to Switzerland while Harry Arter – who has become a very influential member of the side, scoring eight goals from midfield last season – missed the trip altogether. But Harry has now recovered from his injury and we all hope to see him at Kingfield. It will be interesting to see whether he or Lee Sawyer – surely capable of emulating Harry’s successful return to League football – tests the referee’s patience the most!
Manager Eddie Howe has made two new signings so far: the former Republic of Ireland defender Ian Harte and Elliott Ward, who has Championship and Premiership experience with Norwich and West Ham.
The Cherries start their league campaign on 3 August at home to Charlton Athletic. Before then, though, they have a glamorous celebratory exhibition match against Real Madrid this Sunday. Who’s to say Woking won’t give them a tougher game!
Adults £8. Concessions £3. Seafare will be open under the main stand, so why not treat yourself to some of their excellent fish and chips.
The Club has prepared a programme, priced at £2, to cover the three home friendly games, including pre-season thoughts from Garry Hill and an interview with Darryl Flahavan.
REMAINING FRIENDLY GAMES
Saturday 27 July: Woking v Gillingham (k.o. 3pm)
Tuesday 30 July: Eastleigh v Woking (k.o. 7.30pm)
Saturday 3 August: Woking v QPR XI (k.o. 3pm)
The Cards start their league campaign on Saturday 10 August at home to Lincoln City.
Come on, you Cards!