Under-18 striker Daniel Adu-Adjei has lauded the “community” feeling at AFC Bournemouth following his prolific maiden season with the Cherries.
The winger-turned-striker has enjoyed an emphatic first season under Alan Connell having joined the side last summer.
He spent the ages from seven to 11 with now-Premier League Brentford over a four-year period with the Bees before switching to Fulham.
In March 2021, the 16-year-old attacker’s time with the Cottagers came to an end and he made a switch to the south coast which he hasn’t looked back from.
Adu-Adjei explained to afcb.co.uk: “It’s a really good club and there’s a real good community within the club, amongst the coaches and players; everyone’s together.
“We don’t feel like we’re far away from the first team here, we feel like we’re all together and connected.
“It’s a really good club and I’ve settled in really well and everyone’s helped with that.”
In the penultimate outing of the campaign – a 3-2 loss away to Southend United – the 16-year-old frontman bagged his 24th and 25th goals of the season.
Despite the impressive goal of finishing as top scorer for the under-18s this term, Adu-Adjei is aiming for loftier heights next season.
“I think that 25 goals is good,” he said. “But, as everyone knows, I’ve had loads of chances to get more than that. So, I’m hoping to score more next season.
“Credit to my teammates for creating the chances for me to score as well.”
Daniel’s individual achievements this season were echoed on a team scale as Connell’s side enjoyed a successful campaign.
Claiming the EFL Youth Alliance title on the final day of the term was preceded by reaching the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup after victories over Exeter City and QPR.
On the scoresheet in the triumph over Queens Park Rangers at Vitality Stadium was Adu-Adjei, with his opener followed by a Noa Boutin goal in the 2-0 win.
He claimed: “Probably my favourite moment was scoring in the FA Youth Cup against QPR at the Vitality.
“Scoring in the FA Youth Cup was something I aimed to do at the start of the season, it was one of my goals, so it was good to achieve that.
“You hear about it when you’re growing up, you hear about people in the FA Youth Cup and competing in it.
“So, it was great to go on the run that we did and, unfortunately, it ended against Leicester but to have got to the fifth round is a really good achievement; we had a really young squad as well with lots of first years.”
The Cherries’ academy enjoyed further success this year by way of graduates making hefty contributions in Scott Parker’s first-team squad.
Gavin Kilkenny, Jaidon Anthony, Jordan Zemura and the Sky Bet Championship Golden Glove winner Mark Travers, amongst others, all played roles, which Adu-Adjei sees as inspiration.
“We know where they’ve come from,” the under-18 striker shared. “They’ve been through exactly what we’ve been through.
“It’s inspiring to see that they’ve been able to get into the first team and, hopefully, we can follow the same path.”