When the team sheet was announced for AFC Bournemouth’s final home game of the 2018/19 Premier League season against Tottenham Hotspur, a few highbrows were raised at who was starting in goal.
This was a game that AFC Bournemouth needed to win to chase a club record points total in the top flight of English football and a game that was live on Sky Sports.
With both Artur Boruc and Asmir Begovic seemingly available for selection, AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe named the Republic of Ireland Under 19’s international Mark Travers in goal.
Travers became the first teenage goalkeeper to start a Premier League game since Joe Hart in October 2006.
⭐️ Man of the Match, @marktravers40 of @afcbournemouth
5️⃣ saves, 2 inside box, 3 outside box.
Aged 1️⃣9️⃣ years, 3️⃣5️⃣1️⃣ days, he is the 5️⃣th different teenage 'keeper to keep a clean sheet on his PL debut pic.twitter.com/XePwktMfxL
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 4, 2019
He went on to enjoy a memorable first half, pulling off a string of fine saves to frustrate Tottenham Hotspur and would go on to be named as the man of the match.
It now appears likely that Travers will once again be named in goal for the final game of the season at Crystal Palace, at the expense of senior goalkeepers Begovic and Boruc.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told afcb.co.uk…
“It was a great display from him, he’s someone we really do believe in. He’s got great temperament and attitude to the game. He played like it was a training session and that’s a huge compliment.
“He showed real confidence with his feet. He kicked the ball well, made some saves and impressed with his all-around game management.
“It’s a nice problem to have and a decision I’ll have to make in the summer, in terms of what to do with all the goalkeepers we have. Mark hasn’t been out on loan this season…”
“…It’s slightly unusual that Mark hasn’t been out on loan to experience League One or League Two. That was the risk we took, but going on his training and the way he has conducted himself all season, as well as the club that we are – trying to give young players opportunities to develop – we decided to do what we did.”
Tinpot Club wrote…
Just had a Wimbledon fan on 606 saying how good Aaron Ramsdale is. Presenter then mentioned Travers and what good young keepers we have at the club. Ironic given how dodgy our senior keepers have been at times.
It’s actually a really interesting dilemma for Eddie. Bringing in someone of Butland’s age is saying you want him to be our keeper for the next 7 years or more. That would seriously dent Travers and Ramsdale’s development. Part of me thinks bringing in an experienced stop gap for a couple of years might be an option. There’s also a danger of getting too far ahead of ourselves with our youngsters. – Join the conversation, click here.