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AFC Bournemouth: B team proposals unlikely to affect us says Stephen Purches
STEPHEN Purches believes the introduction of a new competition for B teams would be good for the English game – but would have little or no impact on Cherries.
Development squad coach Purches was responding to proposals for second teams from some Premier League and Championship clubs to compete in a league lower down the pyramid.
The plans, which are part of FA chairman Greg Dyke’s commission to look at ways to improve the national team, are today due to be considered by the Football Association.
One option is for the second teams to play in a league sandwiched between League Two and the Conference, while another is to merge the B teams with League Two and the Conference to form two regional leagues.
At present, the proposal, which is aimed at producing more young English players, would only include clubs with category one-rated academies – with Cherries currently rated as category three.
Purches told the Daily Echo: “I think it makes sense that the Premier League clubs would want to do it because it would give their younger players an opportunity to compete in competitive men’s football and allow them to put their philosophy into their players earlier.
“I am a firm believer in getting young players competing against adults and playing in leagues. It exposes them to the importance of playing for a career and everything that goes with that. There is a lot more riding on those games compared with friendlies or under-21 matches.
“We have seen it work in other countries and clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Ajax all have second teams. You can see the benefits and it helps the big clubs get bigger. Everybody wants to see English clubs bring through more English players.
“From our point of view and clubs of a similar size, I don’t think it would have much of an impact. I don’t know how the logistics would work but, on the face of it, I think it would only benefit a select few.
“Everything is geared to bringing through players which, without a doubt, needs to be done. But with regards to us, it wouldn’t really affect us or our players and would only benefit clubs with category one academies. Things might change if we were to become category one but, at the moment, I don’t think it would have any impact on clubs like ours.”
Meanwhile, Purches confirmed Cherries were exploring the possibility of entering a development squad/reserve team league next season.
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