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Under-21s

Ticket from Ryde has Jake on right track

190111_Jake_Scrimshaw_Signing_003.jpg

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Although he is just starting out on his journey in professional football, Jake Scrimshaw has already come a very long way.

Countless trips across the Solent from his home on the Isle of Wight have paid dividends for the young striker who has been rewarded with his first contract.

Scrimshaw was invited to join the Cherries as a 15-year-old having impressed during a four-week trial at one of the club’s ID centres.

Spotted by club scouts banging in the goals for Hurstwood Rangers in Havant, Scrimshaw jumped at the chance and was desperate to seize his opportunity with both hands.

His determination to pursue his dream has not been without sacrifice, both for Scrimshaw and his devoted parents Lee and Sarah (pictured above with Jake).

“It was tough when I was in the under-15s and under-16s,” Scrimshaw told afcb.co.uk. “I would come over from the Isle of Wight for training five or six times a week and it was a bit of a struggle. 

“I would get up early every morning to go to school at Ryde Academy and then rush home. Mum would always have some food ready for me on the table.

“After eating, mum or dad would drive me to the ferry terminal and I would get the boat from Ryde to Portsmouth.

“Two of my teammates, Nathan Clements and Tom Dinsmore, lived in Portsmouth and their mum or dad would give us a lift to and from Bournemouth. Sometimes, it could take a while due to the traffic.

“They would bring me back to Portsmouth and I would get on the ferry for the return journey home. My mum or dad would then pick me up, I would have a quick shower when I got home and go to bed after midnight most days.

“It was very difficult at the time but is has all been worthwhile. When you want something badly, you will do what it takes to get there.”

Ryde-born Scrimshaw plundered no fewer than 48 goals last season, his exploits helping the Cherries reach the quarter-final of the FA Youth Cup for only the second time in their history. 

He hit six of their eight goals in the competition – including a stunning hat-trick in the fourth-round win at Oxford United – before the Cherries bowed out at the hands of eventual runners-up Manchester City.

Scrimshaw’s impressive tally included 17 goals during a fruitful loan spell with Poole Town where he ended the campaign as the Southern League South outfit’s leading marksman in all competitions.

His reward for a memorable season was a two-year deal which will see Scrimshaw progress to the club’s under-21s, along with eight other members of Alan Connell’s successful under-18 squad.

“I was over the moon to be offered my first professional contract,” added Scrimshaw, who was named Under-18 Player of the Year.

“It was what I had been working for my whole life. It was a dream come true to sign it.

“It was a very good season, both for me and the team. On a personal note, I was happy with how it went and it was probably my best season since I joined club.

“We had quite a few difficult games against some very good category one opposition in pre-season and it was good experience. It stood us in good stead for the season. 

“I scored a couple of goals at the start of the season and then got four in a 7-0 win against Portsmouth. I just kicked on from there and kept scoring.

“The loan spell at Poole was a good experience. At that level, it’s all about winning and not just developing. It was good for me, both mentally and physically.

“I was fortunate to score six goals on my debut for them and it couldn’t have gone any better. Everything just seemed to fall for me.

“I’m delighted with the contract but I want to push on again and get another one. My main aim is to play for the first team.

“Working under Alan Connell was brilliant for me. He was a striker and has helped me so much. He was always pushing me and trying to make me a better player.”

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