By Sports Reporter
ENGLAND-BORN Zimbabwean defender Jordan Zemura is set to continue his development at Bournemouth after being handed a new one-year contract by the English Premier League side.
The 20-year old left-back who was born in London to Zimbabwean parents has been a key member of Bournemouth’s under-21 side since joining the club from the English Championship side Charlton Athletic before the start of the season.
After impressing in his debut season Zemura, who last week trained with the Bournemouth first team ahead of their match against Manchester United, was one of the 15 academy players who were rewarded with one-year contract extensions.
Before the season was brought to a premature end due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Bournemouth’s under-21s had been enjoying a fruitful campaign, reaching the last 16 of the Premier League Cup and the semi-finals of the Central League Cup and the Hampshire Senior Cup.
Speaking after the club announced new contracts for a number of players coach Shaun Cooper believes every member of the Bournemouth under-21 squad has the potential to break into the first team at some stage of their career.
“We wouldn’t have taken any of them if we didn’t feel they had the opportunity to progress. But, of course, everybody’s development moves at a different speed,” Cooper said in an interview with the club’s official website afcb.co.uk.
“Some might be knocking on the door two or three years down the line and, for others, it might be sooner.
“We definitely think all of them have the ability and potential to put themselves up for consideration.
“First and foremost, our priority is to try to prepare players for this club and get them to suit the manager’s requirements.”
Several of Cooper’s squad are likely to be given valuable experience with loan clubs next season, with each player assessed individually.
“There is a lot to consider when we loan out a player,” said Cooper. “We need to ask what the player currently needs both physically and technically and we need to know they are ready for the level. We also have to weigh up which ones the manager will want in and around his squad regularly.
“Once our season gets going and we have had a chance to look at everybody when they come back, then we can start making those decisions. It’s different for every individual.
Although he is yet to make his debut in the Premier League, Zemura made his debut for the first team after rising from the bench in Bournemouth’s 3-0 win over Lyon in a pre-season match in August last year.
The London-born young star Zemura, who can play in midfield apart from being a left-back has already expressed his desire to represent Zimbabwe in international football.
He was called up to the Warriors squad for the 2021 AFCON qualifiers against Zambia and Botswana last November but an expired Zimbabwean passport prevented him from honouring the call-up but he was nevertheless delighted with the recognition.
“I am humbled and honoured to represent my country, I feel a sense of joy and determination to help my country succeed in everything I do,” Zemura said.
“What excites me is playing with the new generation of Zimbabwean footballers and the youth who are all across Europe but wouldn’t have thought about playing for Zimbabwe. The opportunity to spark a nation, put belief and hope in the young Zimbabweans who want to see their country at the World Cup, it excites me,” said Zemura, who last visited Zimbabwe in 2015.