AFC Bournemouth is pleased to welcome centre-back Chris Francis, who has agreed a deal to join the club.
The defender will be a part of Shaun Cooper’s development squad next season, with the move subject to confirmation from the Premier League and the FA.
Having spent time on trial with the Cherries and having already taken part in various sessions, Francis spoke with afcb.co.uk about joining the club and his first few weeks at Vitality Stadium.
“Coming back into full-time football has been great,” he began.
“Training has been really good and I have learnt a lot so far. I’m really looking forward to working with Shaun Cooper and Tommy Elphick, both former defenders.
“They’re great coaches who work with a great amount of detail. That was very clear from day one by the sessions they put on and the way they coached. It was really appealing for my development.
“I think I’ve also settled in well with my new teammates, they’re a great bunch of lads.
“I didn’t know anyone before I came. I recognised a few faces as I had played against them before with Swindon, but I didn’t know anyone personally.
“Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time at Bournemouth so far and I can’t wait for the season ahead!”
Francis went on to provide some background on his career to date, which has seen him play a season of first team football with Southern League Division One Central side North Leigh.
“My football journey started at Swindon Town from the age of six. I progressed through the academy, but was released at 18 after my scholarship ended last summer.
“After a busy summer, I started the season with North Leigh, who were excellent in helping me develop. I played over 30 games it taught me a lot, especially the physical side of the game in competitive football.
“It was a new challenge as the game is played differently to what I was used to. My experience there also showed how vital the ‘uglier’ side of the game was and how to fight for three points to push on in the league.
“I can’t thank the staff enough at North Leigh for the extra sessions and time they put in to helping me push on.”