Written by Frankie Rudland from the Vitality stadium (frankie_rudland)
Bournemouth boss Scott Parker said that he felt “immensely proud” of his young side after they battled to a 2-2 Championship opening night draw with West Brom.
The Cherries twice took the lead through Danish duo Emiliano Marcondes and Philip Billing, only to be pegged back on both occasions by Valerien Ismael’s brutish Baggies.
Ten academy graduates were named in Parker’s squad, with four of those included in the first eleven on the night.
Mark Travers, Jordan Zemura, Gavin Kilkenny and Jaidon Anthony were all handed a starting berth, with all but Travers making their full league debuts.
And Parker’s faith in his young guns was more than repaid – Kilkenny caught the eye in the first-half with some delicate touches and fine passing, while Zemura and Anthony both played pivotal roles in Bournemouth’s two goals.
As expected, West Brom showed all of the aggression and intensity that could be expected of an outfit coached by Valerien Ismael, but Parker was pleased with the way that his side stood up to the test: “I’m immensely proud of the team and immensely proud of the players.
“They are an experienced side that are constantly looking to put the ball into the box and put you under pressure with their physical presence from corners and set plays.
“This is the first game of a long, drawn out season and I didn’t want to risk Junior in any way or make it worse – hopefully we caught it at the right time and it will settle down, then we can make an assessment.”