ALAN Connell and Mark Molesley – two of Cherries’ heroes of the past – have returned to the club in a coaching capacity.

Connell and Molesley, who both played key roles during Eddie Howe’s first spell as manager, have joined the Academy set-up at Vitality Stadium.

Academy manager Joe Roach has appointed Connell to work with the club’s under-12s, while Molesley will be coaching the under-15 age group, with both employed on a part-time basis.

The pair, who both live locally, are currently playing non-league with Connell having signed for Poole Town in the summer and Molesley joining Weymouth.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe told the Daily Echo: “It is really healthy to have ex-professionals coaching the next generation, hopefully, of AFC Bournemouth footballers.

“As the first team has moved and accelerated forward at such a rate, we had to say goodbye to some really good characters and players, people I was very fond of.

“To keep them associated with the football club was an easy decision and hopefully it helps them on the first step of their coaching career."