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First Team

Roach - New deal is Kyle's reward


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth academy manager Joe Roach says highly-rated midfielder Kyle Taylor has been rewarded for his hard work.

Taylor has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract after impressing boss Eddie Howe since being elevated to the first-team fold.

The Poole-raised teenager has progressed all the way through from the club’s development centres having first joined as an eight-year-old.

Taylor, 19, was spotted by club scouts playing for Lytchett Red Triangle when Roach headed the youth ranks in his first spell at Dean Court.

Roach said: “Kyle has been with us for the whole length of the journey and it’s great to see.

“He was fairly slight when he was younger but he has always been very technical and a nice player who caught the eye.

“He was given an early scholarship, which is not the norm, and played up a year and did well.

“Like with all young players, there were areas of his game he needed to improve.

“When Carl Fletcher and I came back to the club in 2014, Kyle was at the start of his scholarship journey.

“We viewed him in terms of how we were going to fit him in with regard to his physical side and perhaps trying to be a little stronger mentally.

“We spoke to Kyle and his parents and outlined what we felt he needed to do to make sure he got over the line at the end of the scholarship. It was quite strong but it centred on what he needed to focus on.

“His response was fantastic. It was one of those moments I remember, as I have with others, when one little seed made sure he focused on where he should be.

“The work he has done since then is down to him and the staff involved. Seeing him in the first team for the FA Cup game against Brighton was fantastic.

“Getting a new contract is reward for him and, collectively, we all have high hopes for Kyle going forward.”

Roach has seen a host of players make the grade in the pro game having come through the Cherries ranks, including the likes of Brett Pitman, Sam Vokes, Danny Ings, Joe Partington, Baily Cargill and Jack Simpson.

And he views Taylor as something of a flag-bearer for the academy.

He said: “At the moment, we quite rightly have younger players coming in from established clubs.

“As academy manager, you would always want to try to make sure you have some of your own players coming through but the stats and numbers are quite slim.

“We have had players coming in at 15 and 16 who have progressed so to have someone who has come through the whole system from the word go is great. Not many people do that, even at some of the bigger clubs.

“It’s down to the coaches who have developed Kyle and the support of his family. Ultimately, it’s down to the work you do on and off the pitch and Kyle epitomises that in bundles.

“He’s a great lad and a great character with no ego. You can trust him and that’s a big word because trust is a big thing at this club.”

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