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Development Squad

Defender Harris recalls being spotted by Cherries - just after playing in goal!

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Archie Harris recalled how he impressed the AFC Bournemouth scouts at the age of 11 - despite having to be asked to step out from between the sticks!

The talented defender has been a mainstay of the Cherries academy ranks for the past eight years, having been spotted at the Dorchester ID Centre.

His dad Andy, who played for the likes of Southend United, Leyton Orient and Chester, coached him at Weymouth Cougars throughout his formative years before allowing him to trial with AFC Bournemouth.

Recalling how his move to the Cherries came about as a youngster, Harris told afcb.co.uk: “My dad coached me for a long time from when I was young until I was 11.

“I think he actually turned down a trial for me when I was nine, because he just wanted more time with me.

“He then finally let me do my own thing at 11 and I remember coaches coming to watch me at the ID Centre in Dorchester.

“Carl Robson came down to watch me and I think I was playing in goal in the training game! He said ‘can you get that lad out of goal, I want to see him’.

“That’s when I thought ‘okay, someone might be watching here, so I might have to impress some people’.

“I used to like playing in goal. In my Sunday league team we used to rotate keepers and I used to enjoy it but I’ve always been an outfield player really.”

Harris played an important role for the development squad, as they finished third in their inaugural season in the Professional Development League South Group last season.

He made 23 appearances for Alan Connell’s side, as well as having loan spells at Torquay and Truro. The defender recently put pen-to-paper on a new contract at Vitality Stadium.

Asked about stepping up to a category two academy games schedule, Harris replied: “It’s been really good. We had a lot of time playing the same teams in our age group and always did well against those teams and in those competitions.

“But to have the new challenge of playing different teams and probably better quality teams, it’s been really good for us. It’s been a really good experience for me as a player.

“I am really happy. It’s been a good season for me and to come away with a new contract has been really nice.”

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