“I HAD the pleasure to watch first-hand how he would conduct a training session at Bournemouth. It was almost like a conductor composing his orchestra. It was absolutely inspirational.”

WHEN Brian Stock came up through the ranks at Bournemouth, he was exposed to heavyweight future coaching talent.

From an early age he played alongside Eddie Howe, who was on Monday named Newcastle boss.

Cherries’ side of the early 2000s was flush with the likes of Howe, Jason Tindall, Stephen Purches and Alan Connell to name a few.

Midfielder Stock would go on to play 172 times for Sean O’Driscoll’s men between 2000 and 2006 – giving him the platform for a stellar career.

Stock had been 18 for just a month when he made his league debut for Cherries against Colchester United in January 2000.

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Experiences like that – for any teenage footballer – will always be logged in the memory banks.

So, it was no surprise that Stock soaked up everything around him as Howe and the aforementioned players began to guide Bournemouth to a different stratosphere.

Howe’s playing career may have ended aged 29 in summer 2017, due to a knee injury, but within two years he was appointed caretaker manager at Bournemouth and then given the job full-time, overcoming a 17-point deficit to save Cherries from relegation.

Bournemouth had someone special on their hands – and Stock knew it.

“He was quite quiet,” Stock told Echosport. “Although he was a popular member of the group he was very reserved, a good pro.

“He would write down everything. He would grade his own individual performance – not many players I’ve come across would do anything like that.

“He thinks about the game brilliantly. I had the pleasure to watch first-hand how he would conduct a training session at Bournemouth.

“It was almost like a conductor composing his orchestra. It was absolutely inspirational.

“You would watch everything going on. Everything worked like clockwork. Every single coach knew what they were doing.

“They knew when to move a goal, knew where the balls were going, knew when to get the linesman’s flag, when to score.

“The ball rolling time and the intensity was so consistent. He’s an impressive, impressive coach. I’m not surprised he’s impressed the guys up at Newcastle to get the job.”

Stock’s links with Howe continued even after he left Dean Court in 2006.

Dorset Echo: Eddie Howe, back row second left, with Brian Stock, back row second right, and Jason Tindall, front third right Picture: RICHARD CREASE/BOURNEMOUTH ECHOEddie Howe, back row second left, with Brian Stock, back row second right, and Jason Tindall, front third right Picture: RICHARD CREASE/BOURNEMOUTH ECHO

A troublesome eight-game spell at Preston spread across two seasons saw Doncaster come calling.

After more than 200 games with Donny, Howe signed him at fellow Championship side Burnley.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to know him as a teammate and friend,” Stock said.

“He’s been my manager at Burnley, so I’ve experienced what he’s like on that side as well. I’ve been on the receiving end of a telling off from him.

“I asked him a question which he didn’t like and he let me have it. I questioned why I wasn’t playing. I asked: ‘why don’t you see a certain individual playing further forward and me playing in that position?’

“Because I questioned where he wanted to play his own players, he didn’t like that. It was only because I was desperate to play.

“As a player you ask those questions and if you get the right response, great. If not, you know you’re walking out knowing you care, that you want to play.”

Despite only playing 42 times at Burnley, Stock outlasted Howe as the boss exited in 2012.

Stock then left Turf Moor to join Havant & Waterlooville before becoming a manager himself, joining National League side Weymouth in September 2020.

Simply being at Cherries, with Howe and others, boosted his coaching career.

Dorset Echo: Brian Stock, left, with Eddie Howe Picture: CORIN MESSER/BOURNEMOUTH ECHOBrian Stock, left, with Eddie Howe Picture: CORIN MESSER/BOURNEMOUTH ECHO

“Just being at Bournemouth in general, it’s almost impossible not to learn from the environment that’s set,” Stock said.

“The contact time with the first team was there. We were always invited to watch and that was top to bottom, to under-nine level.

“When it comes to designing sessions, individualising and making sure it’s relevant to what we do to matchday – not just putting on a five-a-side for no reason – there’s always thought behind it.

“That’s something Eddie has got in abundance. When you look at everything he does, you can see there’s a build-up to everything he does.”

While Howe and Stock are good friends, there were times when a fearsome tackle here or there would test their relationship.

“We shared many players’ nights out,” Stock recalls. “There was one occasion after a couple of drinks where I’m hitting him with a sword!

“We had a couple of run-ins, don’t get me wrong.

“There was once or twice in training where I’ve gone down the back of his calf, one of the worst tackles ever, and it’s ended up in a bit of fisticuffs.

“He had every right to complain. It was a naughty challenge from me.

“We always seemed to put things aside if that did happen and I’d like to think with the journey we’ve both been on that there was a lot of mutual respect there.

“Anything I’ve gone on to do, whether that’s gaining promotion somewhere, succeeding as a player, or even getting the Weymouth job, Eddie’s always congratulated me, taken the time out and messaged me saying: ‘All the best’.

“I’ve done the same. Although he’s a busy guy and doesn’t reply straight away, you know deep down at one point you’re definitely going to get a reply from Eddie because he’s got that touch of class.”

A long-time assistant of Howe’s at Bournemouth, Jason Tindall is expected to fulfil the same role at the Magpies – his move announced yesterday.

For Stock, the connections continue as his close association with Tindall began as a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) player.

Dorset Echo: Brian Stock, left, with Jason Tindal, centre Picture: RICHARD CREASE/BOURNEMOUTH ECHOBrian Stock, left, with Jason Tindal, centre Picture: RICHARD CREASE/BOURNEMOUTH ECHO

“Eddie and Jason I met on the same day,” Stock explains.

“I cleaned Jason Tindall’s boots! That was my first introduction, to go up to Jason and say: ‘I’m cleaning your boots’.

“I was a nervous 15-year-old boy but he tipped well. He gave me £50 but I did have to ask him for it a couple of times!”

Fast forward nearly 25 years and Stock retains a close bond with Tindall.

“Jason’s a friend and we’ve stayed in touch the whole of our careers,” Stock said.

“There are not many players that you stay in touch with for the whole of your career and after. Jason’s one of them.

“He hasn’t changed, whether he’s been a player, coach or manager. He’s always got that time to speak to everyone.”

And it’s that close-knit tie between Howe and Tindall that Stock believes will carry them to success at the Toon – where Saudi-backed resources make Newcastle the richest club in the world.

Stock said: “They share the same beliefs and work so well as a pair. It’s no surprise they’ve had success off the back of that.

“Although it’s a tough task to go to Newcastle, the richest club in the world, they’ve got a big challenge ahead but it’s exciting and one I’m sure they’re going to relish.

“When they first took over at Bournemouth I bet they never thought they’d be in a position where you’re going around the town collecting money in a bucket to keep the club afloat.

“I know one or two things they had to do to keep the club going. You beg, borrow and steal at that point.

“They’ve seen that side of the scale and now they’re going to experience the other side.

“I’m sure their recruitment will be spot on. They can go to international stars with a blank cheque book and spend wisely.

“When it comes to (Howe’s) signings, although a couple will be questioned with the likes of Jordon Ibe, he has got a lot right.

“The likes of Matt Ritchie, Callum Wilson, Nathan Ake and all the players currently in the team at the moment. (Aaron) Ramsdale is another one.

“He’s got a lot of transfers spot on.”

Eddie Howe, it seems, gets most things spot on – and who would bet against him doing the same at Newcastle?