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New Forest Football Academy signs official deal with AFC Bournemouth

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NEW Forest Football Academy is looking to the future after putting pen to paper and signing an official partnership with AFC Bournemouth Academy.

Following months of work from both organisations, New Forest Football Academy (NFFA) coaches Jamie and Niall headed to the Vitality Stadium to sign an official agreement with AFC Bournemouth Academy managers Sam Gisborne and Joe Roach, head of recruitment Josh Dorlikar and recruitment officer and head of pre-academy Josh Hanratty.

New Forest Football Academy's Jamie Wise (centre left) and Niall Marr (centre right) with (from left) AFC Bournemouth's Sam Gisborne, Josh Hanratty, Josh Dorlikar, and Joe Roach
New Forest Football Academy's Jamie Wise (centre left) and Niall Marr (centre right) with (from left) AFC Bournemouth's Sam Gisborne, Josh Hanratty, Josh Dorlikar, and Joe Roach

NFFA operates in the New Forest, Bournemouth and Southampton areas and is a football academy for ages three to 12.

Jamie and Niall hope the partnership will be hugely beneficial to their players, and the plan is to host regular fixtures between New Forest and AFC Bournemouth throughout the season, from U6 right up to U12.

Senior AFC Bournemouth Academy staff will also attend training sessions and fixtures monthly to monitor players throughout the programme, and there will be an official pathway for NFFA players to progress into AFC Bournemouth’s academy.

New Forest Football Academy staff and AFC Bournemouth recruitment officers will also have regular meetings about monitoring and progress updates of identified players within the programme.

NFFA and AFC Bournemouth Academy jad been working together until matters stalled during the pandemic. However, since rekindling communications in January, the two sides decided to sign an official agreement.

Speaking of the new partnership, AFC Bournemouth Academy head of recruitment Josh Dorlikar said: “It was almost a no-brainer because both organisations will mutually benefit.

“We know they have really good people on their staff, and they are really good at what they do. We can trust them as an organisation to represent the club in a good way.

“In the previous link, and when we didn’t have a partnership, we had a number of their boys sign in the academy.

“So again, it was a no-brainer because we’ve had so many boys come in from New Forest Football Academy.

“Forming that official link just ties things up really nicely.”

A spokesperson for NFFA said: “The staff are incredibly excited to start our official academy partnership with AFC Bournemouth, as it offers our players a unique opportunity to develop and progress across our academy pathway into professional football at AFC Bournemouth.

“With a staggering 43 former New Forest Football Academy players already progressing into professional academies with season-long contracts, we are very excited to be able to provide our players an extremely effective development programme enabling players to gain the required skills to be the best that they can be with the very best opportunities to progress.”

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