MANAGER Eddie Howe has urged Cherries’ youngsters to grasp their big chance – with first-team opportunities awaiting those who show the necessary attributes.
Howe knows exactly what it takes to progress through the club’s ranks, having successfully made the transition from youth to first team during his playing days.
He has demonstrated his willingness to give Cherries’ top prospects the opportunity to step up by calling on the likes of Dan Thomas and Jayden Stockley for first team duty this season.
And Howe wants Cherries’ hopefuls to press their claims, starting with this afternoon’s reserves clash against Exeter City at Dean Court (2pm).
Detailing what he will be looking for, Howe said: “The opportunity is there and it’s a great opportunity for them because if they do well they will be involved in the first team.
“They have to show that they’re ready and they have to show by their performances that they want it.
“And they need to have a good attitude. All those things rolled together would give anybody a really good opportunity to make it.”
The club’s second string, made up predominantly of youth team players, have struggled this term, losing their past two encounters heavily at the hands of Plymouth Argyle (9-1) and Bristol City (7-0).
“I think it’s a gradual process,” he told the Echo when asked about making a successful transition to the senior ranks.
“The big thing is they need to be working at their game day in, day out, and they need to be making huge improvements within the next three to four months because it’s a big time for all of them.”
First-teamers Marvin Bartley, Alan Connell, Josh McQuoid and Jeff Goulding could all feature in today’s reserve clash in a bid to boost their match fitness ahead of Cherries clash against Grimsby.