AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe visited Bournemouth University to speak to students and visit the new Sports Performance Laboratory facilities ahead of the BU Big Match.
Manager Howe answered questions from students about his career, his managment style, and the players he has played and worked alongside, as well as his impressions of Bournemouth University and the partnership between BU and the Cherries.
Each year, one match in the AFC Bournemouth calendar is designated as the BU Big Match, and the chance to celebrate the continuing partnership between The Cherries and Bournemouth University. This year, AFC Bournemouth will play reigning Premier League champions Leicester City on Tuesday 13 December, with a range of Bournemouth University activity taking place on and off the pitch to add value to the game experience.
As Official Higher Education Partner of AFC Bournemouth, the University works with the football club to benefit the local community, to provide opportunities for students to receive work experience, and to work together to extend the brands of both organisations across the globe.
Eddie Howe visited the University for a Q&A session with students, as well as meeting staff from the University’s sports management courses and visiting the new Sports Performance Laboratory on campus to see the new facilities that are used to teach students.
Speaking at the visit, Eddie Howe said, "The facilities are excellent, cutting edge technology, it is really good to see Bournemouth University progressing so well. It is really important that the community works together; if there are things the football club can do to promote the University, and things the University can do to promote the football club it is a really nice link. Hopefully we can generate the next generation of Bournemouth supporters through the University and, likewise, we can help facilitate the future careers of young people in Bournemouth.
"Looking at the students today I thought they were fantastic, I thought they were very knowledgeable and you could see how keen they were. I think the future is bright for them and for Bournemouth University."
In advance of the BU Big Match, members of the University will also be visiting Poole High School on 5 December with AFC Bournemouth Commercial Director and BU graduate Rob Mitchell. Rob will share his experience of working for a football club, as well as offering advice to students on how he got there, including his degree from Bournemouth University in Leisure Marketing.
Speaking at Eddie Howe’s visit, Jim Andrews, Chief Operating Officer at Bournemouth University, said, “We were delighted to have Eddie Howe on campus and interacting with staff and students, and it is great evidence of the benefits of our continued partnership with our local football club. We’ve been working together for a number of years now, and it is a privilege to see the growth of both AFC Bournemouth and the University as the partnership has developed. We are looking forward to the BU Big Match against Leicester City, another chance to celebrate all we do together, and a chance to cheer on AFC Bournemouth as they continue to impress in the Premier League.”
The first BU Big Match took place in 2015, AFC Bournemouth’s inaugural season in the Premier League, with the visit of Tottenham Hotspur. This year, during the BU Big Match, the University will be putting on activity including the BU Big Band playing Christmas carols as supporters arrive, a half time display with the men’s and women’s Bournemouth University football team captains, and a half time prize draw for a chance to win a copy of FIFA17. The game will also officially be branded as the BU Big Match, with the University on display as the game is broadcast in countries around the world.
For more information about Bournemouth University’s partnership with AFC Bournemouth, and the upcoming BU Big Match, visit the partnership pages of the Bournemouth University website: https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/discover/afc-bournemouth