'It was an unbelievable feeling' - Kildare youngster on Carabao Cup shootout heroics

20-year-old Mark Travers guessed correctly on all three penalties he faced.

Bournemouth's Philip Billing celebrates their penalty shoot out win with goalkeeper Mark Travers.
Bournemouth's Philip Billing celebrates their penalty shoot out win with goalkeeper Mark Travers.
Image: EMPICS Sport

KILDARE NATIVE MARK Travers was the hero for Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup last night, saving penalties in a shootout to help the Premier League side past Forest Green in the third round. 

The 20-year-old took advantage of his opportunity in the first team with a confident display, denying Forest Green in all three spot-kicks he faced.

Travers had little work to do during normal time as the game finished scoreless, but he guessed correctly to save the penalties from Forest Green.

“It was an unbelievable feeling, to finish with a peno shootout,” Travers told Bournemouth TV.

“A quit game overall but you’ve got to just stay focused and you’re always going to make a few saves. Thankfully it came in the peno shootout.

“You’ve just got to trust your instincts as well, if you’re going to go one side just go full pelt and that’s what I tried to do.

“We do a bit (of practice) after training sometimes and have a bit of fun with it. But mostly with my goalkeeper coach, he helped me do it. We got a lot of our homework done and thankfully it paid off.

“That’s the thing about these cup competitions. You’ve got to stay focused in these games. It was great to get back onto the pitch and get some minutes into me. Stay focused right to the end and I was able to do that thankfully.” 

Travers, who made two Premier League appearances for Eddie Howe’s side last season, signed a long-term deal with the club in July.

Bournemouth have plenty of options between the posts with English youngster Aaron Ramsdale their first choice keeper, while former Celtic stopper Artur Boruc and ex-Chelsea man Asmir Begovic are also on the books. 

“It’s great competition. Obviously Ramers is in goal at the minute, he’s doing very well. Just keep pushing each other on everyday, big man in Asmir as well.

“We work well together. We enjoy these moments together, even in the Prem games when Ramers pulls off great saves we enjoy it as well. We’ve just got to keep pushing each other on and it’s great to work with them.

“It’s always good to be in the competitions, especially the cup ones. Something to aim for, something to keep working for and look forward to when it comes up.”

It was also a big night for 19-year-old Dubliner Gavin Kilkenny, who made his full senior debut for the Cherries in midfield.

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“I did alright,” said Kilkenny.

“I’m delighted to make my debut. I just tried to make the most of it and do what I can for the team. Hopefully more to come. 

“You just have to treat it like any other game, like an U21 game. Pretend the crowd’s not there and just play your own game like you would normally in training and other games.

“It has been a whirlwind. Just keep pushing and keep working hard. I’m enjoying it so I’ll keep going and see what happens.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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