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Under-18s

U18s VAR trial a success

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth's under-18s played two friendlies at St. Mary's Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, helping to test Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology.

The Cherries played two 60-minute matches against Southampton and Southend's respective under-18 sides, with manager Alan Connell praising the system. 

Talking to afcb.co.uk, he said: “Last season, we were fortunate enough to hold one of these tests at Vitality Stadium, as well as St. Mary’s and the Emirates Stadium. It’s worked out really well for us, playing at some lovely grounds.

“It’s been a great experience, especially with the Youth Cup on the horizon in a couple of months. Giving the boys that professional environment to play in has worked out well.

“Yesterday, we had two 60-minute games against Southampton and Southend, so everyone got to play a full game. It gave us the opportunity to juggle the squad around and experiment with a few things. They were two positive performances and I was pleased with the lads’ effort both with and without the ball. 

“It was a really productive day and set us up nicely going into this weekend’s fixture against Newport County's under-18s." 

Connell also commented on the high-standard of officiating that his young side have been exposed to. 

“We had a few Premier League referees at the games," he continue.

"Everyone saw the technology being used at the World Cup and how the process worked.

“The Premier League are trying to deliver it as best they can and we’re fortunate enough to be in a position where they want to experiment at Premier League stadia using Premier League youth teams.

“We’re getting that stadium exposure and experience, which is why I make sure all the boys realise that we’re in a very fortunate position to be getting these sorts of opportunities.” 

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