Cherries: The rise of Robbo
ON signing for Cherries, Anton Robinson said he was a very combative central midfielder. Now, 16 months on, it appears he was under-selling himself. While his powerhouse performances have backed up that initial description, Robinson has offered Cherries far more than just honest graft and bite since joining from Weymouth. The 24-year-old's game has stood the test in the Football League following the step up from the Conference. And having added a few goals to his already impressive CV, Robinson has increasingly looked the part. Strong in the tackle, energetic around the park and composed in possession, he has proved an excellent acquisition for the Dean Court club. An ability to deputise in numerous positions in addition to his preferred central location has been a useful bonus, given the often wafer-thin resources at boss Eddie Howe's disposal. Such were the level of his displays in Cherries' promotion-winning campaign, he earned the verdict in the club's end-of-season players' player-of-the-year vote. Robinson is an unsung hero whose influence might not immediately leap out to supporters, but the recognition of his colleagues should be taken as a reliable gauge of his worth to Cherries. I was over the moon to be voted by my fellow team-mates, especially after the season the club has had, he admits. To be chosen as players' player was a great achievement. It was a surprise because there were so many contenders. With an appetite to better himself, Cherries fans can expect Robinson to strive for further improvements in future seasons. I want to improve my game and my weaknesses, and I feel I can pop up with more goals, says the emerging talent. I've been practising that. Keen to emulate a player he looks up to, Steven Gerrard, he wants to get on the scoresheet more regularly after being handed freedom by his manager to roam forward, something he did in the final matches of the season from wide midfield. The challenge of producing the goods in the third tier is something he is already relishing. I'm really looking forward to it, admits Robinson, when asked about the League One adventure Cherries are set to embark upon. Teams like Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday will be in League One and there are some big, big clubs. It will be nice and I am looking forward to going to those places. Robinson demonstrated his ambition to make a name for himself by waiving outstanding wages owed to him by Weymouth in order to realise his Cherries dream. And since helping the club complete a Great Escape last term and now achieving success at the other end of the table that switch has looked a very good one. Such has been his importance to Howe, he missed just three league games during this campaign, and has been a key figure in the team which has written a memorable chapter in Cherries history. Robinson adds: Since I've been at Bournemouth, it's been a rollercoaster ride. I was delighted we got promoted. I have been here for around 16 months and feel like we've had nothing but success. Hopefully, there is more of the same to come. With an exciting and testing season on the horizon, the Dean Court faithful will certainly hope so.
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