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Cherries: Boss Groves to help striker Stockley play catch up
Cherries boss Paul Groves believes fast-tracking Jayden Stockley into the first-team environment may have hampered his progress.
Stockley was elevated by former boss Eddie Howe in 2009 after he had shot to prominence when he was named on the substitutes’ bench – aged just 15.
He was thrown in at the deep end due to a crippling injury crisis and an ongoing transfer embargo and became the second youngest player to play for the club when he made his Football League debut a month after his 16th birthday.
Handed a five-year contract in November 2009, the Poole-born striker was rewarded by ex-boss Lee Bradbury with an improved three-year deal at the start of last season.
However, despite gaining valuable experience during a two-month loan spell with Accrington, Stockley did not feature for Cherries during Groves’s caretaker charge.
Groves told the Daily Echo: “Jayden was recognised early on as a player who had good attributes but he bypassed the youth stage. Maybe, it was down to circumstances at the time.
“In doing that, he missed out on two years, whether it was technical or tactical work. Jayden had a lot thrown at him in a short space of time. He was expected to go from leaving school into a first-team environment without any kind of development, for want of a better word.”
Groves added: “We will manage Jayden but feel he needs a bit more help in and around his game to take him in the right direction.
“At the time he was thrown into the first team, he was expected to utilise his size and attributes, which was good and fine.
“But there are also other areas of his game that need to be developed for him to become a more complete player and to be able to perform on a consistent basis.
“Those are the areas we will look to try to improve and I am sure Jayden, if he continues to work hard and to improve, will continue to make good strides in that direction.”
Meanwhile, Cherries have confirmed three more pre-season friendlies.
Groves’s side will travel to Poole Town on Friday, July 27 before visiting Conference South side Basingstoke Town on Tuesday, July 31.
All three games against non-league opposition will kick off at 7.45pm.