AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe insists that despite the Cherries climb up the football league pyramid, that young players will still get their chance to impress.
With the creation of the Cherries development squad, first under Chris Hargreaves, who is now Torquay United manager and now under player-coach Stephen Purches, the Cherries have formed a stepping stone for players coming out of youth team football to have a further chance to develop to challenge for a first team place.
Players such as Baily Cargill and Jayden Stockley, might leave that group to go and gain first team experience in the football league, but the idea behind the development squad is to build a pool of players who can all develop together.
Players such as Cargill, Stockley, Brandon Goodship and Sam Matthews who have come through the youth system at Dean Court have been joined by players signed from elsewhere such as Harry Cornick, Ben Whitfield, Jon Muleba and Josh O’Hanlon.
They are given a chance to develop, but it is a continuous process as seen this month with the departure of Samir Bihmoutine, Lewis Lindsay and Chad Collins and the addition of youth team prospects Jordan Holmes, Josh Kaye, Callum Buckley and Mason Walsh all signing their first professional contracts.
Howe told the Daily Echo…
“Slowly but surely, we hope to increase numbers and quality. The squad has only been going since the start of last season and it takes time to put together a new team. We are still forming a nucleus of players that we feel will hopefully be good enough to supplement the first team.
“We released three players who we didn’t feel could push to get a first-team place in the next year to 18 months and we may look to recruit from outside. We are developing a pool of good, young players and, for the group to work, we always need to look to increase the quality…’
‘…As they get older, there will come a time that they are either going to have to break into the first-team squad or we will have to part company. There is a pressure on them to try to make the break and that is not an easy thing to do, especially when you compare our squad now with a few years ago.
“It is probably one of the toughest things to do for any young player so we want to give them opportunities but they have to prove they are better than our current players.”
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