THANKS BASH - Star Wade: Riley kept me off pre-match fast food!
EX-Cherries ace Wade Elliott has thanked Bashley boss Steve Riley for helping him on the road to Premier League stardom by keeping him off fast food. Elliott, who learned his trade under Rileys captaincy, earned Burnley a ticket back to the top flight by netting the winner in their Wembley play-off final against Sheffield United in May. And ahead of the Clarets first Premier League derby against arch rivals Blackburn tomorrow, Elliott is expected to be among the crowd for Cherries League Two clash at Accrington Stanley. Both Bashley and Cherries currently top their respective leagues, an achievement not lost on Elliott who started out as a 16-year-old at Bash before signing for Cherries in 2000 when he was 21. In an interview with the Daily Echo last night, the 30-year-old said: Im delighted to see both Bashley and Bournemouth doing so well. While there are no players left from my time at Bashley, I was fortunate enough to play with Steve Riley who reminds me very much of Eddie Howe. I was captained by both of them. They are leaders by example and very professional. Neither were shouters for the sake of it but they led in a quietly authoritative manner and generated a lot of respect among their team-mates, which Im sure has carried to the players they manage today. In fact, while most of the Bashley lads used to have a fast food meal for pre-match, it was Steve who used to encourage and defend me for bringing bagels and rice cakes! My experiences at Bashley have helped my career in many ways. My time in the youth team was spent in the South West Counties League and those games against professional clubs gave me the belief that I could compete at that level. Playing for the first team toughened me up, both physically and mentally, and provided me with a terrific group of players and staff from whom to soak up advice and information. My time at Bashley gave me a great grounding and was always enjoyable. Riley, a physical training instructor by profession, has guided Bashley to the summit of the Southern League this season their highest position since the early 1990s. He told the Echo: We did have a few lads who liked their fast food in those days but I kept telling Wade to look after himself. I told him he wouldnt go too far wrong if he kept himself fit and had a good attitude. He epitomised everything you needed to get to the top. My earliest memory of him was in a training game. I was at the top of my game and never wanted anybody to get past me. I didnt know this lad from Adam but he got the ball in the middle of the park and just went past me as if I wasnt there. After the game, I introduced myself to him and asked him what he was doing in our reserves. I told him I would be having a chat with Jimmy Case, the manager. I always make a joke of it by telling people I got him on the ladder to where he is now!
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