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Groves: Development squad is a stepping stone

Groves: Development squad is a stepping stone

AFC Bournemouth manager Paul Groves believes the clubs new development squad will act as the perfect stepping stone between the youth team and the first team set up.

As part of new academy plans at Dean Court, the Cherries will be running a development squad next season, with the aim to bridge the gap between the youth team set-up and the first team.

The development squad will play around 35 games over the course of the season, with fixtures against a number of non-league sides and other development squads.

They will be managed by former Northampton, Torquay and Oxford midfielder Chris Hargreaves, who was announced as the Cherries new development coach earlier this month.

Young professionals Josh Wakefield, Ryan Case, Baily Cargill, Lewis Lindsay, Josh Carmichael, Alex Moth, Clive Makoni, Jordan Chiedozie and Harrison Gilkes who all signed their first professional contracts at the end of last season will be involved in the squad, as well as former youth team members Dan Strugnell and Jayden Stockley who have been sponsored by AFCB Vital.

Jamal Bajandouh who joined the Cherries from Southern Division One South & West club Wimborne Town in May will also join the development squad.

19 year old Jamal Bajandouh was born in Bournemouth but joined Wimborne Town in February after playing in Saudi Arabia.

If former Manchester City attacker Andrea Mancini joins up with the Cherries during pre-season then he will also join the development squad.

Groves told the Daily Echo...

"We plan to work with 20 players every day in the first-team squad and the development group will work with between 12 and 14, The players in the development group are not a million miles away from being involved with the first-team squad on a day-to-day basis.

'It is a matter of them finding their feet and a stepping stone. We have to recognise that for them to train on a regular basis with the first team is a big jump and a big ask."

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Date:Tuesday July 17 2012
Time: 8:09AM

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