Cherries: New begin Ings for Danny
FROM fearing for his footballing future to shouldering much of Cherries' goalscoring burden, Danny Ings has had quite a year. Almost 12 months ago, the teenage forward, like his fellow second-year trainees, sat nervously outside the manager's office. Chewing his nails, Ings was anxious as he awaited the verdict that would shape his career. Having been sidelined with a long-term abdominal injury, he admitted his chances of graduating to the professional ranks were in the balance. We were all sat in a room and they called us in one by one, recalled Ings, dubbed Ingsaghi by his team-mates. We were all biting our nails. I was thinking very negatively a year ago. I had a long-term injury when I was in the youth team and it was decision time for Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall over whether they were going to take me on and give me a chance, having been out injured. Fortunately for Ings, the news brought a welcome surprise. A three-month deal presented his opportunity to make the grade at senior level. I was lucky enough to get that chance and they handed me a three-month contract, continued the 18-year-old. I feared the worst and I didn't expect anything from the club, as I had not played as many games as I wanted to prove myself. But Joe Roach, Eddie and Jason had faith in me and gave me that chance. I just wanted to play football every day, try to prove myself and show the management I was good enough to be in the first team squad. I had three months to prove myself and I was lucky enough to get a new contract handed to me within a month-and-a-half. Via a short yet productive loan spell with Dorset neighbours Dorchester Town, Ings has steadily made a name for himself, his hard-working style, quick feet and impressive bursts of acceleration catching the eye. With fellow homegrown frontmen Brett Pitman and Josh McQuoid heading through the Dean Court exit, he got his opportunity to shine on the first-team stage sooner than expected. Although he has been criticised by a minority for missing goalscoring chances in key games, Ings has become a regular for Lee Bradbury's side, netting four times in 17 League One starts. The speed of his development and the regard in which he is held by the Dean Court hierarchy is reflected in the amount of games he has played and the number of new deals he has been handed. It has been crazy I have signed four contracts this season, said the striker, who could line up at Notts County today (12.30pm). I feel I have worked hard this season and, hopefully, I am doing well for the club. It has been a brilliant year. It has been hard work trying to prove myself and get into the first team squad. But it has been a great experience for me and I appreciate that when Eddie gave me the contract, he gave me a chance. If it wasn't for him and Joe Roach, I wouldn't be here now. With the finale to another potentially epic campaign on the horizon, Ings looks set to feature far more heavily than he might have thought a year ago. He added: I think I have taken it in my stride and I have settled into the first team quite well. Hopefully, we can get promotion this season and that would cap a great year. He is not wrong. Thoughts of the Championship are a world away from the nail biting and nerves of 12 months previous.
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