Alan Connell’s class of 2020 graduated with flying colours after completing their education programmes with the AFC Bournemouth academy.
While students around the country today received their A-level results, all 11 second-year scholars from last season’s under-18s have been celebrating passing their exams.
Together with gaining the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Performance & Excellence) and the NVQ Diploma in Achieving Sporting Excellence, the players received certificates for coaching, refereeing, safeguarding and first aid.
Connor Kurran-Browne was awarded Scholar of the Year by the Premier League both for achieving above his target grade and his sterling work in the community.
His efforts were recognised when he, his parents and club academy staff were invited to attend the Premier League’s virtual awards ceremony recently.
The 18-year-old frontman regularly volunteered his services and helped pupils with reading at the Elm Academy as well as working with Steve Cuss on various Community Sports Trust initiatives.
Kurran-Browne attended disability and Premier League Kicks sessions, he was the academy’s spokesperson when Cuss was interviewed by Match of the Day and the teenager held Zoom events with children from South Africa.
Luke Pardoe, who gained a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (Performance & Excellence), was also short-listed for the Scholar of the Year award.
Jordan Murray and James Oliver also passed the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (Performance & Excellence), which is the equivalent of three A-levels.
All 11 players also qualified as PFA Level 2 coaches and passed a course in the laws of the game.
They were Kurran-Browne, Pardoe, Murray, Oliver, Christian Saydee, Ryan Bertrand, Nathan Moriah-Welsh, Brooklyn Genesini, Jack Torniainen, Cameron Plain and Luke Gray.
Saydee and Bertrand (functional skills maths and functional skills English) and Moriah-Welsh (functional skills maths) passed additional exams.
Dawn Roach, AFC Bournemouth’s head of academy education and player care, told afcb.co.uk: “This is a great achievement by all the players who are working hard to develop and establish themselves as footballers.
“Their individual achievements in their academics is testament to the type of player AFC Bournemouth brings into the club.
“The overall aim over the two years is to produce a footballer, whichever league he ends up playing in.
“But above and beyond that, as a club, we aim to give opportunities and produce rounded individuals who are employable at whatever stage of their journey.
“I am very fortunate that education is part and parcel of the whole footballing programme and everyone – staff and players – subscribe to that.”