Ajani Burchall back in the swing of things at Bournemouth
Ajani Burchall made his first appearance for the new year during Bournemouth under-18s’ convincing 4-1 win away to Bristol Rovers at the weekend.
The 16-year-old winger came on at the start of the second half with the teams deadlocked at 1-1, and helped the visitors take a firm grip with three unanswered goals to put the match beyond the home side’s reach.
It was Burchall’s first appearance with his academy team-mates since his historic debut for the first team against Huddersfield Town in the Sky Bet Championship at the Vitality Stadium on December 12.
Aged 16 years and 37 days, the former North Village youth player became the youngest Bermudian to appear in the English Football League and the third-youngest Bournemouth player after coming on as a late substitute.
Last Saturday’s match was also Burchall’s first outing since returning to the UK after spending the Christmas holidays back home.
“It was great being back home in Bermuda for the Christmas break,” he told The Royal Gazette. “Being able to see family and friends was good for me as I've not been able to physically see any of them for a whole year due to Covid.”
The promising player said he was thrilled to rejoin his team-mates and get some precious minutes on the pitch under his belt.
“Although I enjoyed my time home, I am just as excited being back here in Bournemouth getting back to training and playing games with my team-mates,” he added.
“I was happy to have a session on Friday and get some minutes with the under-18s during a victory over Bristol Rovers on Saturday.”
Having savoured his first taste of competitive for the new year, Burchall is now keen to continue his development and hopefully get more experience with Bournemouth’s first team, who remain thick in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League.
“I look forward to improving myself physically and technically, which would help to improve me as a player,” he said.
“Hopefully I can keep improving and score some goals as well as get some assists. If I can do these things maybe I'll impress enough to get more minutes and experience with the first team.”