Thursday, 5 September 2013

New Forest development centre should pool more talent

Last week AFCB announced that it is opening a New Forest Development Centre for 7-11 year olds. It may have gone under the radar, but it is quite a big move on the part of the club to reach out to more young players and really appeal to a wider audience of young talent that lives just beyond the easy reach of Bournemouth.

The club has stated many times that it will build form the bottom up and I can now see that there is much development going on in trying to secure more young players and teaching them the way to play the game in the best way from an early age. It is important that AFCB do not neglect young players that our on the doorstep, because the Premiership clubs are quite open to scouting nationwide and looking for pockets of interest where clubs have not looked after their potential youngsters.

AFCB has already had good ties with Brockenhurst College and the new centre should further this. I only wish I was still of an age when I could put on the shorts and learn from highly-qualified trainers. I am glad though that there are new opportunities for youngsters to get involved and it is also good to see that AFCB is trying to encourage more girls to play the game.

If we can't encourage today's youth to enjoy the game, then it will be a big loss for the 92 teams in the league, the non-league clubs and the development of the ladies game. If all we have left in 20-30 years time is 20 clubs in the Premiership, that play continental games every week, we will all be massive losers. Getting youngsters involved is the first step to having a flourishing family club.

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