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First team

Francis and Surman leave club

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth can confirm that club captain Simon Francis and vice-captain Andrew Surman will not be offered new contracts and have left the club.

The long-serving pair, whose contracts expired at the end of July, have been an integral part of the club’s rise up the football pyramid, culminating in a five-year stay in the Premier League.

However, following the Cherries’ relegation last month, it has been agreed that both players will be free to find new clubs, and the club wholeheartedly thanks them for their incredible commitment over the past decade.

Francis, who has operated at both right-back and centre-half during his time at Vitality Stadium, arrived in Dorset in November 2011, on loan from Charlton Athletic.

The switch was made permanent two months later and the former England youth international went on to play key roles in the Cherries’ promotions from League One and the Championship, and subsequent five-year stay in the Premier League.

Francis was handed the captain’s armband in the summer of 2016 and made a total of 324 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring three goals.

Central midfielder Surman enjoyed a loan spell at Vitality Stadium early in his career before returning to Dorset – again on loan – in the summer of 2013.

A mainstay in the middle of the park during that time, he completed a full-time move to the Cherries in September 2014.

Like Francis, Surman was key to AFC Bournemouth’s Championship title-winning season and stay in the Premier League, being one of only three players in the top flight in 2015/16 to play every minute of every match.

Surman made 226 in all competitions for the Cherries, scoring 11 goals.

In addition, left-back Charlie Daniels, who is also out of contract, will train with the club during pre-season as he continues his rehabilitation from a dislocated knee.

Over the coming days, the club will be paying tribute to Simon Francis and Andrew Surman for their integral roles in AFC Bournemouth’s recent history .

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