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AFC Bournemouth crowned Youth Alliance champions

[CREDIT: AFCB Media]

AFC Bournemouth have won the EFL Youth Alliance Southwest Division ahead of their closest challengers Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth. Here is a look at their season and the key men who inspired the Cherries to their second consecutive Youth Alliance league win.

The numbers

Bournemouth won 13 games in the season, drawing three and losing two. Home form was key to Bournemouth’s success as they won eight of their nine home league games, with the only defeat coming against Portsmouth in a 4-2 loss.

Bournemouth scored 44 goals in the season, conceding 22. Portsmouth and Plymouth both scored more goals than Bournemouth throughout the season, but the Cherries’ balance between defence and attack meant they were able to pick up the points that were required.

Goalscorers

Daniel Adu-Adjei was the top scorer for the Cherries with nine goals throughout the season. This included two hat-tricks against Cheltenham Town and Newport County away. However, goal contributions were spread across the team, with Baylin Johnson and Lewis Brown scoring seven and eight goals respectively.

Johnson and Adu-Adjei are tipped to have promising futures. Both players are strikers and are only 17 years old, so next season will be critical for them in their development as they look to transition to senior football.

Leading by example

Lewis Brown is the captain of the Bournemouth under 18’s and he played an integral role from the centre of midfield. After the 3-1 win against Swindon Town, which secured the title for the Cherries, he told the official Bournemouth website: “It’s been a pleasure to captain this side and win the league.”

Brown also paid homage to his lifelong friend Toure Williams, who scored his first goal of the season against Swindon. Brown said: “Me and Toure have come from under 7’s to under 18’s and to see Toure score in the last game of the season is a pleasure.”

Connell and Carroll lead the champions.

Alan Connell was manager of Bournemouth U18’s for 15 of the 18 games, because he was promoted to the position of AFC Bournemouth Development Squad manager in January. Connell was extremely successful during his five and a half year spell as under 18’s manager, securing three Youth Alliance titles in four years and helped the club reach the Quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup for the second time in Bournemouth’s history.

Dan Carroll took charge of the last three games and was quick to thank Connell for his leadership of the team. He told the AFC Bournemouth website: “He has done a great job with them, not only with winning the league but also with how the individuals have developed and then gone through into the under 21’s.”

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