Elphick excited by Anfield trip
Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick is relishing the prospect of an early-season trip to Anfield following the announcement of the Premier League fixtures this morning.
Manager Eddie Howe steered his side to the Sky Bet Championship title and the Cherries launch a first ever top flight campaign at home to Aston Villa before tackling Liverpool the following week.
"I'm really happy that we're going to be going to Liverpool early and playing Man United away on the last day," said Elphick.
"I'm sure the lads will be at home watching the fixtures coming out and will be buzzing to get back training," he told Sky Sports News. "The fixtures will surely give everyone something to look forward to and a real focus and drive to want to be involved in the likes of these games."
Bournemouth's Goldsands Stadium ground has a capacity of 11,700, something which the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United are going to have to come to terms with. Work was expected to begin on the stadium to increase the capacity shortly after the south-coast club sealed their promotion to the Premier League in order to meet a rise in ticket demand.
However, the other requirements that all grounds must adhere to in order to compete in the Premier League are the priority. As a result, the club will not be able to increase the number of seats by the 2015/16 season.
"When all of the factors were weighed up, it just wasn't feasible to push ahead with expansion of the stadium," chief executive Neill Blake told the club's official website.
The club's promotion means that the side will play rivals Southampton in what will be a new experience for both players and fans.
"It is a real local derby for the fans and one that we will have to be all guns-blazing," said Elphick. It's another exciting challenge that some of the lads haven't experienced."
The Cherries face a tough run-in at the end of the season where they take on Liverpool on April 16 and Chelsea the week after before completing their season with a heavyweight clash at Old Trafford.
"It's going to be important that we get off to a good start and get as many points as possible and as early as possible," said Elphick.
The players return to pre-season training on June 27 to prepare for the club's greatest challenge.