Feeney lad Eunan O’Kane can’t wait to be testing himself against some of the best players in the world next season.
The 24-year-old played his part in Bournemouth’s Championship title success this season and he’s already thinking about coming up against the likes of Eden Hazard, Yaya Touré, Cesc Fàbregas, Juan Mata, David Silva, Santi Cazorla, Nemanja Matić, Ángel Di María and Aaron Ramsey.
“When you are a young boy you dream at being a footballer and you dream about being a Premier League footballer, it’s the best league in the world,” he stated.
“It’s some that you inspire to be and that’s the level you want to be at and for a lot of us it will be a dream come true to play in and it will be something which I think everyone will cherish for a long time, they’ll never forget when they make their Premier League debut.
“On top of that I think everyone will want to establish themselves in the Premier League and hopefully that can be with Bournemouth.”
The ex-Coleraine midfielder, who has faced his beloved Liverpool twice at Dean Court, can’t wait to find out when they travel to Merseyside to take on the Reds.
“Going to Liverpool and playing at Anfield is the one for me, when the fixtures come out that will be the game I look for first,” he added.
“I have been a Liverpool fan all my life and I have been fortunate enough to have played them twice in the last two years, but it will definitely be a nice experience to go to Anfield.”
The former Maiden City Soccer Academy starlet, who missed the last few months of the season with an ankle injury, also concedes that saying Bournemouth are in the Premier League hasn’t really hit home yet.
“For the football club it has been incredible,” he said.
“For me myself it has been a little bit bittersweet because I didn’t play as much as I would have liked to have played, but it’s a huge achievement for Bournemouth Football Club.
“It didn’t really hit home until you spoke to people that were there five or six years ago when they were collecting money in buckets to try and keep the club alive; now we are going into the Premier League and going up against some of the biggest clubs in the world over the next 10 or 11 months, so yeah it’s a huge achievement.”
O’Kane feels that for some of the Premier League super stars coming to Dean Court maybe somewhat of a culture shock.
“It’s incredible to think that we probably could have as many away fans in some of the big stadiums as what we’ll have in our whole stadium and although there might be some little changes to our stadium I think we are going into the Premier League saying ‘this is us and this is the way you are going to have it’.
“I think it will be different experience probably for some of the bigger teams that come down to play us, but the playing surface is immaculate and the dressing rooms are excellent as well, but to go out in front of 11 or 12,000 people is maybe a bit different when you are used to 60,000.”