Big game: Ben Whitfield during his AFC Bournemouth debut
Life is bowling along nicely for former Silsden youth star Ben Whitfield.
The teenage midfielder, who turns 18 next Friday, has signed for AFC Bournemouth and earlier this week took part in a team building exercise with the Championship side’s first-team squad, crown green bowling!
Whitfield, from Bingley, was part of the Cobbydalers’ u19s league and cup double winning team last season aged just 16 but has joined the Cherries from Conference North side Guiseley, where he was playing this season.
He has signed an 18-month contract with the south coast club and is looking forward to working with manager Eddie Howe, the former Burnley boss.
Whitfield told the T&A:
“It’s taken a while to get sorted but I’m really happy to be a Bournemouth player.
“Eddie Howe was a big part of why I decided to come down here because of the way he coaches and his teams play.
“It’s a big move but that will make it easier for me and help me improve as a player.”
Deadline day headlines: The move made it on global TV
News of the transfer deadline day signing featured on Sky Sports
and Whitfield was left rubbing his eyes to check he wasn’t dreaming after seeing his job switch from working in a pub to professional footballer.
He told his Facebook followers: “Wow what a day, by far the biggest life changing day and one of the happiest and proudest too! Thank you to everyone who has supported me. It really means a lot! Onwards and upwards!”
And he has been quick to settle in at Dean Court, helping his new team to a draw against Brighton last week and a stunning 5-1 friendly win at Premier League Southampton yesterday (click here to see video highlights