Development Squad Get League Action

Last updated : 14 June 2014 By Bournemouth Co-Ordinator

Since the Football Combination folded a few years ago, reserve/development squads have struggled to get match time as there hasn't been a proper league for them to play in.

That is changing for the new season as the Cherries will feature in a newly formed Southern League, set up for Development Squads. Lining up against the Cherries in this league will be AFC Wimbledon, Cambridge United, Gillingham, Leyton Orient, Peterborough Uniyted and Portsmouth.

Development Squad manager, Stephen Purches is quoted in the Bournemouth Evening Echo as saying on the development: "This league will give us 14 fixtures and will allow the lads to understand game management better. We managed to get 25 games last season but this league will enable us to get more in the bag and we can still organise friendlies against other teams when we feel we need them. It was always tough playing in the Combination League because squads were smaller and the games ended up being a mix of out-of-favour first-team and youth team players. Sometimes it was hard to get a team together, whereas now the squads are bigger and we've got players who need regular games. This is only going to help. As a category three club, this is the best we can get at the moment and it's a little step towards getting better players to play for this football club. The league will still give us the flexibility to send out our lads on loan to gain competitive football, but when they do play for us, there is an extra edge in games".