Cherries: Brooks handed youth challenge by Mitchell
FORMER Cherries star Shaun Brooks has been handed the daunting task of trying to increase the number of home-grown players coming through the ranks at Dean Court. Brooks, who made 149 appearances for the club between 1987 and 1991, was recently elevated by Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell to the position of head of youth. The 48-year-old has been given overall control of the club's youth department with Joe Roach continuing to take charge of the reserves and under-18s. Under Roach, the Dean Court conveyor belt has reaped rich rewards, with the sales of Brett Pitman and Josh McQuoid bringing in more than £1m this season alone. Since taking the reins almost 10 years ago, Roach has triumphed against financial adversity to transform the youth ranks into a productive and profitable concern for the club. However, in a bold move by Mitchell, a reshuffle in the youth department now sees Brooks tasked with the responsibility of trying to boost the number of graduates. Mitchell has also decided to bring the set-up in-house next season, while several of the club's satellite development centres will close with one member of staff already made redundant. We need to up our game from the first team downwards, said Mitchell. While we have benefited from the players that have come through and the work that has been done by Joe, we need to take that next step and increase the numbers. I have put my faith in Shaun to oversee the way forward. What brought it to the forefront of my attention are the rewards the club has gained from the players that have come through under Joe. Whether we can increase those numbers twofold remains to be seen but I have been told we can and that is for Shaun for prove. Mitchell said the club was in the process of putting facilities in the East Stand to accommodate the educational needs of the youngsters. Meanwhile, three of the club's current second years utility man Paddy Hester, defender Dan Strugnell and striker Alex Parsons are expected to be offered professional terms for next season. The Echo is unable to provide a live match blog from Cherries' clash with Yeovil this afternoon. However, Neil Perrett will be tweeting match updates via his Twitter account @ohecperrett.
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