AFC Bournemouth club captain Simon Francis will help the next generation of talented footballers in the local area by taking full ownership of the Harry Arter Academy.
Arter will hand full control of the academy over to fellow teammate and close friend Francis.
The academy was established in 2016 and has been encouraging development and participation among local boys and girls aged 16 and under throughout the Dorset area.
Training sessions currently run from Ashdown Leisure Centre in Poole, with further sessions at Two Riversmeet Centre in Christchurch to commence after the upcoming Easter holiday period.
“It’s a really exciting time,” Francis told afcb.co.uk. “Harry and I are close friends and I was really pleased for him when he started the academy. It’s always something I’ve been interested in.
“I’ve already been down to a number of sessions and done some coaching and I can’t wait for more involvement with the academy.
“We’ll be looking to take things to the next level and I’m really excited about it all. We’ve got the website and all of the social media up and running. With the help of the club we’re set for some exciting times ahead.”
Arter added: “I’d like to thank everyone for attending the academy since the opening. After recently starting a family, unfortunately I haven’t been able to attend as many sessions as I would have liked.
“We’re delighted to have got the academy to where it is today and we thank you for all of your support so far.
“There is nobody better placed to take over the academy than my closest friend in football and our club captain, Simon Francis. I’m delighted Franno has agreed to become the new owner and we’re excited for what the future holds.”
We'll be looking to take things to the next level and I'm really excited.