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Boutin named Scholar of the Year


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth under-18s player, Noa Boutin, has been named the Scholar of the Year and was presented with his award by the Premier League at a ceremony earlier this week. 

Every year, academy staff nominate one winner who has excelled both on and off the pitch, fellow defender Jack Seddon scooping the award in 2021. 

Boutin, who predominantly plays as a left-back, has not only progressed with his football, but has also made strides individually during his two years in the Youth Team. 

The now 18-year-old arrived from France in July 2020, having previously played at grassroots level in his homeland.

Speaking very little English and having relocated four months into the Covid-19 pandemic, it meant that the youngster was restricted in his movements and couldn't go home to visit family when time allowed. 

Boutin then battled through a long period of time on the sidelines, having picked up an injury during his first season, meaning that game time was limited. 

Despite the obstacles, he worked hard to get back fit and also developed his language skills, spending at least eight hours a week with his tutor Jade Moger. 

Alongside attending Brockenhurst College, Boutin passed his maths and English exams this year, and was even seen helping out with sessions in the community, joining coaches at Slades Farm for training with the disability and girls football teams. 

On the pitch, his standout moment came in the FA Youth Cup, scoring at Vitality Stadium to help the Cherries reach the fifth round of the competition with a 2-0 home win over QPR. 

Having recently penned a third year scholarship and his first professional contract with the club, 

After picking up the award, under-18s manager Alan Connell spoke to afcb.co.uk about why Boutin was nominated for the award. 

"We felt Noa should be awarded the Scholar of the Year because we've been delighted with his progress since he joined us two years ago.

"We fought off some strong competition to bring him over as a 16-year-old and he had a difficult first season with injury and Covid restrictions. 

"Despite that tough time, he has shown great character to progress and deserves this award.”

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