Jordan Zemura insists he will relish the competition provided by any new additions to the squad this summer, as he eyes up renewing his partnership with good mate Jaidon Anthony in the Premier League.
Zemura, 22, was a revelation last season, having been handed the starting spot at left-back by Scott Parker from the opening day of the campaign.
Despite having Leeds United loanee Leif Davis to compete with, Zemura started in all-but one league fixture when he was fit and available.
He struck up a dynamic partnership down the left flank with housemate and close friend Anthony, who was also enjoying his big breakthrough at Cherries last season.
And while he expects new arrivals, to compete for his position now Davis has returned to Leeds, Zemura is excited about the prospect of the pair picking up where they left off, when the Premier League campaign begins against Aston Villa on August 6.
“We’ve got to come back, work hard in pre-season and then hopefully that can be the case,” Zemura told the Daily Echo.
“Because obviously last year we just decided to light up the left-hand side as much as we can, with obviously Phil Bill (Billing), the older bro there!
“We look forward to it and see what happens.”
He added: “Even with Leif being here, I think we pushed each other a lot last year.
“I learnt a lot having him here. And I’d like to say he learnt a lot with me being here with him.
“It is what it is. In football, you’ve got to be competitive, especially in your position, because it only makes you better.”
While nerves and pressure were heightened heading into the crunch clash with Nottingham Forest, which ultimately saw Cherries clinch promotion, for Zemura, he managed to remain cool amidst the chaos.
“I felt it was a big game, but I think I was calm and collected,” the Lambeth-born ace recalled.
“I don’t know why. I said it to Jaidon, ‘to be fair I don’t really feel too nervous or anything, I just feel relaxed and ready to enjoy the moment’.
“I think that’s what it was. I just went and enjoyed the moment and it was amazing.”
Reflecting on the celebrations after promotion, Zemura added: “A whirlwind. It was great, amazing.
“I enjoyed every moment of it and especially the last day of the season, having my family at the game, my friends from when I was young back home, it was a little bit emotional.
“My mum, my uncle, my uncle’s wife, my little brothers. I had everyone there (for the Millwall game).
“My friends from back home since I started in year seven or year six. It was good to have them there with me. I’m just grateful.”
Asked who was the liveliest at the club during the promotion celebrations, Zemura said: “I think it was everyone. The liveliest was probably the whole team to be fair, I couldn’t pick out one.
“Maybe the chairman (Jeff Mostyn) gets it for me. The chairman was proper lively!”