The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Isaac Wil­liam

VET­ERAN Bournemouth striker Steve Fletcher claims help­ing the Cher­ries into the Cham­pi­onship has con­trib­uted to his re­tire­ment.

Fletcher, 40, holds the club record for ap­pear­ances with Bournemouth and has spent 15 sea­sons at the club.

This sea­son un­der Ed­die Howe the Cher­ries stormed to au­to­matic pro­mo­tion that was sealed on a dra­matic fi­nal day and, al­though Fletcher wanted to re­main at Dean Court, boss Ed­die Howe de­cided to look else­where as they pre­pare for life in the Cham­pi­onship.

“I saw Ed­die Howe on Tues­day – we feel it will be dif­fi­cult for me to be part of the squad next sea­son,” said Fletcher.

“Prob­a­bly get­ting into the Cham­pi­onship has back­fired in re­spect to me be­ing able to be around the team.

“He wasn’t telling me to re­tire, he said he re­spects me too much for that, but that it would be dif­fi­cult to of­fer me a play­ing con­tract un­der the cir­cum­stances.

“I don’t want to go any­where else. I’m 40 years of age, I’ve got to be sen­si­ble and re­al­is­tic. I would love to have played in the Cham­pi­onship.

“But when you weigh things up, it’s prob­a­bly bet­ter that I have a look at some­thing to do in and around the first team.”

RE­TIR­ING: Steve Fletcher

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