Cherries: Connell goal was for late mother
Cherries star Alan Connell says he is desperate to move onwards and upwards with the club following his nightmare 12 months. In an emotional interview with the Daily Echo last night, Connell spoke of the great relief he felt after scoring his first goal since his return a year ago. The 26-year-old striker dedicated his headed effort against Yeovil on Tuesday to the memory of his late mother Sue, who passed away in March following illness. Connell said: As soon as the ball went in, I thought of my mum. She would have been at the game and Im sure she was in another way. She was always a massive support to me and kept me going through bad times as well as good. It was very emotional. My team-mates surrounded me and said some touching things. Some of the comments brought a tear to my eye. It was very heart-warming and just shows what a great bunch of lads weve got here. His thumping header, which came after Brett Pitman had opened the scoring for Cherries during their 2-1 win over Yeovil in the first round of the Johnstones Paint Trophy, was greeted by a familiar chant of Alan Connell, Alan from the Dean Court faithful. They have shown me great support over the years and to get a response like that from them was incredible, said Connell. Connell rejoined Cherries from Brentford on August 29 last year, only to damage his left knee during his first training session the same day. A terrace favourite during his first spell between 2002 and 2005, his goal against Yeovil was his first for 17 months and his first for Cherries since December 2004. It came on his first start for six months and also capped his 200th career appearance. He added: Everyone knows Ive had my problems since Ive been back. I was delighted to score but, more importantly, delighted with the win and I thought it was a very good team performance. I havent played anywhere near as many games as I would have liked but it was still a great relief to get the goal. The club has stuck by me through thick and thin and its been an extremely difficult year. Both as an individual and as a team, hopefully we can all keep moving onwards and upwards. Weve got a small squad but I think the quality is very much there. I was slightly disappointed not to start on Saturday against Crewe but Eddie (Howe) explained his decision. He said it was going to be a long season and that I was very much part of his plans. I came in against Yeovil and was part of a winning team so, hopefully, that bodes well for the future. The draw for the second round of the JPT is due to be made on Sky Sports Soccer AM programme on Saturday. Ties will be played during the week commencing October 5 and Cherries will be joined in the hat by Southern Section rivals Barnet, Torquay, Gillingham, Hereford, MK Dons, Norwich, Northampton, Aldershot, Brighton, Charlton, Exeter, Orient, Southampton, Southend and Swindon.
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