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Under-18s

Duo secure loan moves to Wimborne

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Coach Alan Connell believes loan spells with local non-league clubs will give his AFC Bournemouth young guns “invaluable experience” for their future careers.  

Connell was speaking after giving permission for under-18 pair Harvey Bertrand and Ben Greenwood to join Southern Premier South outfit Wimborne Town.

Defenders Bertrand and Greenwood will link up with goalkeeper Cameron Plain who has been earning some rave reviews during his fruitful stay at Cuthbury.

The trio could tomorrow do battle with Cherries team-mate Jack Torniainen when Wimborne visit Dorchester Town in an eagerly-awaited derby at the Avenue Stadium.

Torniainen is one of no fewer than seven members of Connell’s squad currently on a work experience loan with Luke Pardoe and James Oliver at Poole Town and Jordan Murray at Highworth Town.

Connell, who sanctioned moves for Bertrand and Greenwood following talks this week with Wimborne manager Danny Holmes, told afcb.co.uk: “We felt it was a good time to send out Harvey and Ben, both of whom have had a good season with the youth team.

“This is the next step in their development and it will be great for them to play at a good club and at a decent level. It will also be an invaluable experience for them.

“There is always a balance between keeping players with us and letting them go on loan and we assess each player on their individuals needs and requirements.

“A good example is someone like Nathan Moriah-Welsh who has recently returned from a long injury layoff and just needs to get back playing regularly with us.

“Someone like Harvey has played lots of games for the youth team over the past two years and is a physically strong lad. Playing non-league at this stage of his career will add another string to his bow.

“We try to get players as many different experiences as possible to make them as well-rounded as we can, ready for their careers.

“A lot of thought goes into it and we always try to do the best for the player and for AFC Bournemouth.”

Unless their respective games fall foul of the weather, none of the septet will feature in the Cherries’ Merit League One clash with Oxford United at Canford Park Arena tomorrow (11am).

Connell added: “Hopefully, all seven will feature for their loan clubs. We will also be without Christian Saydee and Connor Kurran-Browne who are still a few weeks away due to their injuries.

“Although we will be missing nine second years, a lot of the first years have been playing regularly and the under-16s are getting more involved.

“It is also good for the second years who are still here because it’s great for them to lead and help the younger lads. That’s a different type of development for them.

“From my own experiences, football is about opportunities. As a player, you just want the chance to go out and show you’re a good player.

“All our players have potential and now it is up to them to deliver consistent performances, both in training and in games – whether that’s with us or their respective loan clubs.”

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