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​Bournemouth youngster Simpson: Non-league prepared me for Prem

Bournemouth defender Jack Simpson says he owes it to the non-league football that he is now fully prepared for the Premier League challenge.

Simpson spent a three-month loan at AFC Totton in Southern League South & West in 2015 and now he considers that time precious.

"That loan was brilliant in terms of physically getting used to being kicked around by older people. I always used to play out with the ball, so I used to get smashed a lot!" the 21-year-old told the Daily Echo.

"I was skinnier back then and probably needed it. There was one game, I can't remember who we played, but we drew 2-2. Me and the striker were at each other for the whole game. How we didn't both get sent off, I'm not sure!

"That was probably the best game in terms of a learning experience of how to keep my head in difficult situations and learning the tricks strikers use to try to get the edge on you.

"When I first went there, I didn't really know what to expect. I had never been on loan and didn't know much about the club but it was massive for me in terms of what I learned about decision-making in game situations.

"Even though it's not the same level, you still get put in similar situations and have to be clinical, especially in the defensive half."

About the author

Freddie Taylor

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