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Bournemouth considering return to Bermuda in search of further talent

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Show of faith: Remy Coddington shakes hands with Joe Roach, the Bournemouth academy manager, after being awarded a pre-scholarship agreement. Also pictured are Steve Coddington, the player's father, and Sam Gisborne, the operations manager (Photograph by AFC Bournemouth)
Ajani Burchall

Bournemouth Academy could return to the island in search of potential talent in the not too distant future.

The Sky Bet Championship club’s academy staff are keen to travel to Bermuda to scout players and assist clubs sometime before the end of this season.

“We’ve got a good relationship with Bermuda, certainly through Andy’s [Bermudian scout Andrew Powell] connection,” Joe Roach, the academy’s manager, told the club’s website.

“They’re keen for us to go across again, not just to look at the players on the island but trying to offer some support and collaboration with the clubs and doing due diligence on players there.

“We have plans for holiday programmes to give that exposure to the players out there.”

Roach travelled to the island with fellow academy staff in 2016 to run a training camp at Goose Gosling Field where more than 140 youngsters, aged between 8 and 23, were introduced to Bournemouth's coaching philosophy.

Several of them caught the eye with Ajani Burchall and Remy Coddington both being offered pre-scholarship deals, before later moving on to pastures new.

“We watched a game and Remy Coddington and Ajani Burchall both stood out,” Roach added. “We’d offered them pre-scholarships at under-14s as a protection in case any clubs wanted to come in for them.

“We had early contact for Remy from West Ham, he and his family were keen to go and we had to negotiate with West Ham.

“At that point we’re looking at the opportunity for the player and for us — ultimately if the player doesn’t want to stay you have to explore the best options.”

Burchall later moved to West Ham’s Premier League rivals Aston Villa, with the club receiving substantial compensation for the 16-year-old winger.

“We had a number of enquiries from established clubs, and again we sat down with the parents — already having that offer on the table here for Ajani to move forward from a scholarship into a professional contract,” Roach said. “Aston Villa came in for him and we looked at the most appropriate pathway for the player and the club. I have to recognise the financial support Bournemouth gives our academy and at some point there needs to be a benefit for the club and the player.“We felt that the offer we were going to receive from Villa was an appropriate one, with extended offers beyond his scholarship, they dealt with the process extremely well and were respectful with their offer.

“We felt it was the best for Ajani’s development and was a return in investment to support the academy moving forwards and the next group of players.

“Remy and Ajani have been well recognised, so we’ve put our footprint in the sand in Bermuda. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get across this season and see what unfolds in the future.”

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Published October 02, 2021 at 7:57 am (Updated October 02, 2021 at 7:57 am)

Bournemouth considering return to Bermuda in search of further talent

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