Fogden flying high after taking Cherries chance

Wes Fogden in action against Huddersfield
Wes Fogden in action against Huddersfield
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Bradley Lethbridge in action for Pompey Academy against AFC Bouremouth. Picture: Charlotte Jeffes

Pompey Academy held to Bournemouth stalemate

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Former Hawks midfielder Wes Fogden has wasted no time in making a big impression with League One side Bournemouth.

The 24-year-old has already agreed a new three-year-extended contract with the Cherries – just months after his reported £45,000 switch from Westleigh Park.

And Fogden, who has scored two goals in 18 appearances for Lee Bradbury’s promotion-chasers, could prove to be one of the bargains of the season after making the leap from the Blue Square Bet South.

‘It’s a chance of a lifetime and I just want to make the most of it,’ said Fogden.

‘The step up in standard has been huge and it is much faster and far more physical in the Football League.

‘The fitness levels and the physical demands are far greater.

‘It took me a month to come to terms with it all and I feel comfortable with it.

‘This is a fabulous opportunity with a great club, where the atmosphere right through from the manager is terrific.

‘I had a great two-and-a-half years with the Hawks and I was very happy there.

‘That showed in my performances, though we never managed to get the success wanted.

‘The Hawks’ fan base might not be huge but they always got behind the players to spur us on.

‘I will always be grateful to them for that.

‘My dream was always to get back into full-time football and the Bournemouth opportunity is one I couldn’t turn down.’

Fogden is doubly determined to make the most of his chance after his career was almost ended as an 18-year-old trainee at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The youngster discovered he had a tumour on his spine and after surgery spent three months in a restrictive body cast.

It was a scary period for Fogden, but the fearless player made a full recovery and battled back to full fitness.

After being released by the Seagulls, the player moved along the south coast to Dorchester, before Hawks boss Shaun Gale brought him to Westleigh Park.

Fogden soon became a firm favourite at the club with his exciting ability to run at defences, making 115 senior starts and scoring 35 goals.

His performances in the first half of this season soon brought him to the attention of a number of League clubs, and it was inevitable that a move up the leagues would follow.

Gale was reluctant to let him go but admitted the club couldn’t stand in the way of such an opportunity.

And Gale predicts he will go on and play at a higher level.

‘Wes could easily play at Championship level and hopefully can help Bournemouth achieve that,’ said Gale.