IT WAS only four years ago that Jordan Holmes was playing local football as a striker with the Bangor Brumbies and on his way to making a career as a promising representative baseballer.
Today, he is on the books of newly promoted English Premier League club Bournemouth — as a goalkeeper — as the Cherries prepare to embark on the biggest season in their proud 125-year heritage.
The 18-year-old Young Socceroos player said he still found it hard to believe where his football career had taken him.
"It was only a few years ago I was playing with Bangor," he said.
"To be here now, it's unbelievable.
"I'm loving it, I'm loving all the opportunities Bournemouth have given me.
"They let me warm up every week in front of the fans with the first team.
"I can't wait to warm up in front of the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal this season.
"The biggest thing the manager [Eddie Howe] has put into our club is that we all stick together.
"We don't have the biggest players but everyone puts in 150 per cent.
"That's really what's got us to where we are now."
Holmes signed a two-year scholarship with Bournemouth as a 16-year-old in 2013 after impressing on a tour organised by former Cherries academy coach Paul Hubbard.
After just nine months, Holmes was offered a two-year professional deal.
Not a bad effort from a player who only switched to stopping goals from scoring them a year earlier.
The shot stopper, 185 centimetres tall, has developed a deep affection for the club that took a chance on him but admitted to feeling the pressure when he first arrived.
‘‘I would love to stay with Bournemouth. They’ve done a lot for me,’’ he said.
‘There was a lot of expectation of me.
‘‘Signing a 16-year-old kid from Australia when they were in League One at the time was unheard of.
‘‘People thought this kid has to be unbelievable and the first few games I could feel people watching me.
‘‘But I did all right and started playing well with the under-21s which was huge for me.’’
Bournemouth are discussing a loan move for Holmes, with the youngster keen to learn his trade as a No.1 in League One or League Two this season.
Holmes, the first Australian to ever sign with the club, said he was confident the Cherries would hold their own in the Premier League for one main reason — manager Eddie Howe.
‘‘It is great working with him. He’s a great manager, he loves his football,’’ he said.
‘‘He loves the way we play and has great ideas on how we want to play.
‘‘He knows his stuff and he believes in all of us players. He and (development coach) Stephen Purches give us so much confidence to go and play.’’
It has been a busy time for Holmes, who celebrated his 18th birthday last month — the day after making his international debut for Australia’s under-20s against Qatar in New Zealand.
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