CARL Fletcher felt Cherries' Premier League Cup victory had been a “great experience” for the younger members of his matchday squad.

The hosts saw off Norwich City 3-2 at Vitality Stadium thanks to a Benik Afobe hat-trick, the DR Congo international permitted to feature as clubs can field three outfield players over the age of 23 in the competition.

And Fletcher felt the Group C contest had been a valuable fixture.

He told the Daily Echo: “I am pleased the guys got the win but we also know we can play a lot better and need to keep improving.

“It was the first time some of the guys had played on that pitch.

“It was a great experience for them going forward and, hopefully, the more we do it the better they get at it and learn more with each game.

“We were trying to make it as much like a first-team game as we could in terms of preparation videos and training, like we normally would, to give them that experience to go forward and try to play under the kind of pressure they might not usually have.”

Having recorded a winning start, Cherries host Bury in their next group encounter on Tuesday, October 31.