Horsham’s Yems toasts AFC Bournemouth highs, but says it’s all about hard work

John Yems SUS-151029-163804002
John Yems SUS-151029-163804002

It was all highs last season for John Yems who made his mark on the Premier League with minnows Bournemouth last season – but a last-minute winner at Stamford Bridge will stick long in the memory.

The Cherries football operations and recruitment manager was part of the back room staff as the south coast club continued their meteoric rise – just seven years after almost dropping out of the Football League and going out of business.

Eddie Howe, Bournemouth manager LPL-160405-120713021

Eddie Howe, Bournemouth manager LPL-160405-120713021

Horsham-based Yems was amongst manager Eddie Howe’s staff as they proved they could mix it and match it with the top-flight giants.

They did the unthinkable by getting into the Premier League in the first place and shocked the majority again, by comfortably avoiding the drop, providing some great shocks along the way – scalps of Chelsea and Manchester United amongst them.

You won’t meet many that won’t praise the Dean Court outfit for sticking to their passing ethos, but former Crawley Town and Horsham manager Yems believes it’s hard work that gets results at any level.

Be that when he was coaching at Three Bridges, the Fulham Academy, Horsham or the Premier League.

“You make sure you put your good shift in and you aren’t going to get beat through lack of effort. There is no magic formula, it doesn’t matter what level you are at, whether you are managing at Three Bridges, Horsham or Bournemouth.

John Yems

On the top-flight roller coaster, Yems said: “It was a good learning curve. To go to the places we did was good for the supporters and the club. Most of all, the lads really, really took to it and enjoyed it.

“There were a lot of new experiences for a lot of people. It was a good experience.

“The best high I have had for many years, having come from London, was to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the last minute of the game. That was one of the highest and most ecstatic things I have ever done.

“To do that at their place, it may have been one of Jose’s last game. That was a top experience. Crystal Palace going back there where I have a lot of mates and beating them as well, it was good.

Crawley Town, John Yems MAYOAK0003386494

Crawley Town, John Yems MAYOAK0003386494

“I do not think there were any lows, okay, there were results that went against you, but I kept saying to Eddie, for me being the age I am and for all of us, where we have all come from, it was just the experience of being able to play at these grounds.

“We weren’t just turning up to make the numbers up, we wanted to do well, but you go to Man City and get beat up there. Then you beat Man United at Bournemouth, so it weighs itself up.

“You mention those two names, but when we first went in the club, me, Eddie and Jason (Tindall), we were playing, no disrespect to them, the first game was Tranmere Rovers.

“Then all of a sudden you get upset about going to Manchester City and getting beat, you do because you want to win, but put it into context, that’s all been within three or four years.

“Ed, the coaching staff and everybody there works very hard. Ed will reap what he sows at the end of the day, he lives and dies by it. The players have brought into everything as they are such a good group of lads.

“Last year was a learning curve for everybody, I had a little dabble there (the Premier League) before at Palace, but for the supporters and everybody just going to the grounds was great.

“You look up and you are playing so-and-so and see some of the team sheets, but once the game starts it’s 11 versus 11.”

Yems has been involved with a side that has been promoted out of every division from the Conference upwards, but the Londoner says there is no magic formula.

The Cherries had some fine spells in their debut season, a run of six straight wins paved the way for safety and Yems believed it was such an open league.

He added: “We found at the beginning of the season when you are new, you are finding them out and they are finding you out, the adrenalin is going, the fans are behind you, it was a league – hence Leicester doing welll and wining – I wouldn’t say anyone could beat anyone as you still have your elitists and top six, but you have you leagues within leagues.

“We have a thing at Bournemouth which comes from the top and people that have known me since the years of Horsham, I am the same, but you never given in and most importantly of all you stick together. The lads have brought into that.

“You make sure you put your good shift in and you aren’t going to get beat through lack of effort. There is no magic formula, it doesn’t matter what level you are at, whether you are managing at Three Bridges, Horsham or Bournemouth.

“They are all trying their best and you have to hope their best is better than someone else’s best.

“I treat it with the same enthusiasm to if I was managing Horsham or helping out at Three Bridges, that’s what keeps you going, you have to be a football person, you have to keep going.

“From where we have come from to actually sit there on coaches and be pulling up at grounds and stadiums that a lot of people have only seen on Match of the Day, it was a good experience.

“People keep pointing out I see you here and see you there, you have been doing it for years, but just not been on the telly so much.

“You can’t knock it, not too many get the opportunity to do it, so I make the most of it.

On the future, Yems added: “Everyone is looking forward to it and we will give it good go again. We have a bit of a tough start, we have Jose Mourinho’s first game playing Man United at home, then we have West Ham at the new Olympic Stadium - so we could be the first team to win there.”