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U18s set for Saturday title decider


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The under-18s travel to Swindon Town on Saturday knowing that a win would secure the Merit League title for the Cherries.

In the side's final match of the season, their hard work throughout an often challenging campaign could result in a divisional win as they currently hold a one-point league at the top of the division.

The 11.15am kick-off at Stanley Park in Chippenham will be covered on the Academy Twitter feed as well as on afcb.co.uk.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Wiltshire, manager Alan Connell talked about the atmosphere in his squad ahead of the important fixture.

"Preparations have gone well," he said. "We had a good performance against Oxford last week and in particular in the second half against Southampton on Tuesday we produced an excellent showing.

"Since then it's been about getting the boys fresh for Saturday, so we were light in training on Friday, touched on a few things for the game; a bit of technical work looking at a few things that we want to try and implement.

"I spoke to everyone at the end and spoke about how it's been a challenging season for a number of reasons but hopefully all of us together have improved and learned along the way.

"The message was clear that we want to end on a high and we know we're going to have a tough game away at Swindon so we're going to need to make sure we compete and produce the performance that we know the players are capable of."

As well as being the final match of the season, the game will be a final one at under-18s level for many of the players, with Connell speaking about what the opportunity at Swindon means for the players and for himself.

He said: "For the players it should mean everything because you're in football to compete and win.

"My job is different to that, it's to produce individuals good enough to hopefully play for our first team, and within that, especially with the under-18s, it's about knowing how to win and in particular at our club being good enough to win while sticking to our philosophy.

"On Saturday we'll go to Swindon and play our normal game. If we stick to our principles and play with the intensity and quality we're capable then hopefully the result will take care of itself."

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