The first of a series of eight lectures delivered by Premier League football club AFC Bournemouth took place at BU’s Talbot Campus on Tuesday 10 January. The lectures are designed to give BU staff, students and members of the public a behind-the-scenes look into how a Premier League football club is managed.
BU Alumni, Sam Gisborne, AFC Bournemouth Academy Manager kicked off the first lecture, giving the audience an insight into how their Academy is managed, its methods and processes. The lecture covered details of the operational costs of training young players from different age groups from foundation age under-9, youth development under-12 to 16 and professional development under-17 to 23. Sam also described the differences between the larger, Premier League clubs who mostly fall under Category 1-rated academies compared to AFC Bournemouth who currently sit under Category 3, saying: “One of the advantages of a Category 1 academy is that they have their own development centres around the country to train young players. However, despite some of these limitations, we have seen recent success with several players who we have trained and have gone on to be key members of AFC Bournemouth’s first team; Mark Travers, Jaidon Anthony and Jordan Zemura.”
Along with the day-to-day running of the club there was time to disclose plans AFC Bournemouth has to build a new development Academy at Canford Magna, helping them to increase their capacity to train more players and compete with some of the larger clubs around the country. Work has already begun on the first phase of development, which will see the installation of a new Academy centre with an outside artificial pitch, a domed indoor pitch and offices to help train up more talented players.
BU are the official higher education partner of AFC Bournemouth, operating in their 10th year of partnership with the Club this year. The partnership benefits students who get the opportunity to work closely with staff and players at the Club, as well as getting involved in community events. Dr Andy Callaway, Principal Academic in the Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Science at BU said: “These lectures give all our students a unique opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a Premier League club that they wouldn’t normally discover. It's particularly relevant to those studying sport science, sports coaching, and sport management degree programmes who go into these industries. We are fortunate to have a partnership with AFC Bournemouth, where students studying at BU get the opportunity to engage in a variety of the Club’s areas including sports science, coaching, performance analysis, commercial, press office and marketing teams as well as supporting AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust to help support the local area.”
Sam, who studied Sports Management (BSc) at BU, graduating in 2016 also talked about the close connection between the Club and BU saying: “My course at BU certainly prepared me for the work that I do at AFC Bournemouth. Crucially, the course organised placement opportunities and I was able to work at several Premier League clubs during my degree including Norwich City FC and AFC Bournemouth. The valuable experience I had during these placements gave me the skills I needed to get full-time work at AFC Bournemouth, but also it enabled me to decide that working in football management was exactly what I wanted to do as a career going forward.”
The remaining seven lectures will run throughout January and will cover themes including:
- Coaching in the youth development phase: Dan Carroll, AFC Bournemouth Lead Youth Development Phase and U16 Lead Coach, Warren Cummings, U13 Lead Coach, and James Lowy, AFCB U15 Lead Coach, will talk about their specific coaching philosophies.
- Sport science in an academy: Ben Bradley, Head of Sport Science & Medicine, and Jordan Tyrer, Academy Sport Scientist, will discuss the setup of sports science within the academy and how fits into coaching and practice.
- Physiotherapy and rehabilitation in an academy: In this session, you’ll find out how physiotherapy and rehabilitation practices are setup within the academy with Tom Shineton, Senior Physiotherapist and Matt Best, Academy Rehabilitation Co-ordinator.
- Player recruitment in the local area: Josh Hanratty, Academy Recruitment Officer, will share the processes involved in recruiting players in the local area, especially, what they look for and what it takes to be selected.
- Coach Development: In this session, Bruce Suraci, Academy Head of Coaching & Development will talk about the coaching structure in the Academy, with a focus on the need, and methods used to develop coaches, and coaching practices.
- Girl’s and women’s pathway at AFC Bournemouth: Steve Cuss, Manager & Head of Community accompanied by staff and an AFC Bournemouth player, will talk through the organisation and its development over the years, giving insight into the structure of the teams and progressions within the leagues.
- Disability pathway and community engagement: In this session, Steve Cuss, Manager & Head of Community accompanied by staff and an AFC Bournemouth player, will discuss how the disability pathway works, and how the group engage with the wider community through football related activities.
To book your place on any of the lectures please visit the BU website.
For more information about Bournemouth University’s partnership with AFC Bournemouth, visit https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/collaborate/afc-bournemouth.