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Eight scholars sign professional terms ahead of 2018/19

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Eight of AFC Bournemouth's under-18s scholars have now signed professional contracts heading into the 2018/19 season.

Nnamdi Ofoborh and Will Dennis had signed their contracts earlier in the season, but now Sam Sherring, Charlie Seaman, Dinesh Gillela, Jaidon Anthony, James Boote and Gavin Kilkenny will also be professionals next season.

Under-18s players Connal Morrison, Ash Pope and Antonio Diaz will leave the club at the end of their scholarship deals. 

Under-21s manager Carl Fletcher said: "We're pleased to keep progressing a number of young players through the system at the club.

"But we can't forget those who will be leaving us in the summer, I'm sure they will all have prosperous careers in the game and we'll always be here for them for any advice should they need us."

Fletcher was also on hand to help give details of the players he will be working with in the upcoming campaign, and what attributes they have displayed to be offered their latest opportunities.


Gillela is a centre-back who can also play in a holding midfield role. Originally from Woking, the 18-year-old was released by Watford before joining the Cherries.

Fletcher explained: "We’ve been pleased with Dinesh’s progression over the season and that development is what we’re after with all of our players. He’s had a period out injured this season and worked hard to make sure he comes back and kicks on from his previous level. Now we hope to see more from him as a professional."


Crowned the Youth Team Player of the Season at the Player Awards Ceremony earlier this month, Ofoborh is a central midfielder who has also represented Nigeria under-20s in 2018. The Londoner – hailing from Lewisham – signed his professional deal back in December and has trained regularly with the first team in recent months.

After signing his professional deal, Ofoborh said: "I was released from two clubs before I was lucky enough to get a trial here and I haven't looked back. I've trained with the first team and they're lovely guys, they've helped me fit in perfectly and I've got good exposure. Hopefully I can continue to be around the first team, keep learning from the likes of Lewis Cook, Andrew Surman and Harry Arter and pick stuff up."


Anthony was originally with the Arsenal academy ahead of moving to the south coast. The striker is also comfortable on the wing, and scored against Hull City in front of the home crowd at Vitality Stadium in this season’s FA Youth Cup.

Fletcher said: "Jaidon’s a player with good technical ability, he’s always dangerous in attack and is able to dribble effectively in game situations. He’s scored goals across the season, including in the big FA Youth Cup games and has stepped up well when given the opportunity to play with the under-21s, which has been often over the year."


Boote is an 18-year-old central midfielder with a good passing range and high level of stamina. This season was his fifth with the Cherries and he has often captained the side in the latter part of the season, including against AC Milan during the youth team’s trip to Italy in February. Other clubs on the player’s CV include Reading and Eastleigh.

Fletcher commented: "James’ best attribute may be his attitude, the improvement from when we first started working with him to now has been massive. As a player he’s always looking to better himself and you can now see that on the pitch during matches, where he is better able to put his mark on the game and show control from a midfield role."


The youth team captain, Sherring had injuries to contend with at times over the last campaign. With the Cherries for more than a decade already, the central defender led the youth team to the EFL Youth Alliance Cup final away at Wigan Athletic at the end of last season, where the Cherries won the trophy at the DW Stadium.

Fletcher explained: "Sam is dominant defensively and always wants to understand the game better so he is more able to read the game and know what he needs to do to try and stifle attacks. He has a great attitude and that rubs off on the other players around him, making sure he takes his role as captain seriously to lead the team and get the most from himself and his team-mates."


Seaman is a buccaneering right-back who was signed by the club after being released by West Ham United. The full-back has played up a level regularly with the under-21s as well as training with the first team and travelling to away matches in the Premier League during the latter part of the season.

"Charlie is a modern day full-back, meaning he can get forward quickly down the right and be a threat in attacking areas,” said Fletcher. "While he has also worked on his game and come along defensively. He has a good athletic ability – as you need in the role he fulfils – and he can have a strong positive influence on games."


Kilkenny joined the Cherries after playing for St. Kevin's Boys in Dublin in 2016/17. The midfielder excels in a number ten role and has this season represented the Republic of Ireland in youth internationals.

"Gavin is maturing well, improving as a player, while continuing to be good in tight areas when he’s marked tightly by defenders,” said Fletcher.

"He’s represented his country as a youth international and you can see that the experience he gets away with Ireland is aiding his progression. We look forward to seeing even more from Gavin next season."


Goalkeeper Dennis has previous experience playing with the youth set ups at Luton Town and Watford, and signed professional terms with the Cherries earlier this season during his second year at the club. Dennis also gained experience away from the club this season during a loan spell with Guernsey.

After signing his contract Dennis said: "I feel I’ve come on massively from where I was, my knowledge has come on leaps and bounds. Being around coaches Neil Moss and Ant White has helped me a lot, their coaching really has pushed me on. Also, having had the opportunity to train with the likes of Asmir Begovic and Artur Boruc has been brilliant, having a more senior goalkeeper giving you ideas and taking you through a session is excellent."

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