BOSS Eddie Howe is convinced the Dean Court youth ranks are in the best possible hands following the appointments of Joe Roach and Carl Fletcher.
Ex-head of youth Roach and former Cherries midfielder and club captain Fletcher were today unveiled as replacements for Shaun Brooks and Paul Groves.
Roach, who was controversially axed from the position in June 2011, is expected to oversee the department, while Fletcher is likely to take charge of the club’s under-18s.
News of their respective appointments was predicted by the Daily Echo just days after Brooks and Groves had been relieved of their duties at the start of last week.
Howe said: “We are delighted to bring them both back and I think it is a really positive appointment for the club’s long-term future. They know the club very well and I don’t think we could have got two better guys.”
Roach, who mentored the likes of Danny Ings and Sam Vokes during his first spell, has been auditing club academies on behalf of a company working for the Premier League since leaving Dean Court in 2011.
Howe said: “I have known Joe a long time and one of the first things that strikes you about him is how well organised he is and how hard he works. During his first spell here, he put in an incredible amount, not just to the youth team, but to the centre of excellence as well.
“He knows the job inside-out and his recent work has helped him stay up to date with what we need to do as a football club to progress. I really don’t think there could be a better appointment on that side.
“His track record with the players he brought through the first time speaks for itself and, hopefully, he can have similar success this time.”
Fletcher, a product of the Cherries youth ranks having joined the club as an 11-year-old, skippered Sean O’Driscoll’s team to promotion in 2003 before joining West Ham a year later.
Capped 36 times by Wales, the 33-year-old played for the Hammers in the Premier League and the 2006 FA Cup final before continuing his career at Crystal Palace and Plymouth, spending two years as manager at Home Park.
Howe added: “The qualities that attracted me to him were his work ethic and mentality. I did my homework on how he coaches and was delighted with the feedback we received from different people.
“If any of the players in the youth team needed a role model, they should look no further than Carl. His story shows what can be done and it is now his job to try to inspire the next generation to do the same.”