CONTINUITY in modern football could soon become a forgotten ideal.

The frequency of testimonial fixtures across the upper echelons of the professional game highlight this shift, but at Cherries the approach seems remarkably different.

Seven of the Dorset club’s top-20 league appearance-makers featured in the past eight seasons.

While three of these are still players at the club, a further three are involved in various coaching roles, with the recent addition of Warren Cummings in the academy set-up.

Cummings in April was appointed lead coach of Cherries under-13s.

The 38-year-old spent the lion’s share of his career at Dean Court, enjoying many highs and lows along the way between 2003 and 2012, as well as two earlier loan spells at the club.

The left-back played a key role in promotion from League Two with the play-off final victory at Millennium Stadium in 2003 and helped complete the ‘Greatest Escape’ to avoid relegation out of the Football League in 2009, before assisting the team’s return to League One the following season.

He finished his career at Havant & Waterlooville in 2016 and received a testimonial fixture with Cherries against Italian giants AC Milan.

The Aberdonian’s coaching job saw him join familiar faces Alan Connell, James Hayter and Brian Stock, alongside club stalwart Joe Roach.

Discussing what the role at the club meant to him, Cummings told the Daily Echo: “I see these guys (former team-mates) on a daily basis, so while it is work and it is demanding, to be around people you have known for such a long time, who you can class as some of your best friends, is special.

“To be back in among people I have known for a long, long time is special. I have always said Bournemouth is my football club.

“As much as I have been to one or two others at different points in my life, my affection has always been drawn towards that football club and to be a very small part of it again makes me incredibly proud.”

He added: “I seem to have joined at the right moment.

“Within two weeks of being there they announced the training ground and from the little snippets I have heard it is going to be great to have our own training ground and everyone being on the one complex, so it is a positive time to be involved.”

Cummings hung up his boots with more than 350 games as a professional to his name.

His 263 Cherries league matches leave him 20th on the list of the club’s leading league appearance-makers.

Asked how his new academy position came about, Cummings said: “I applied for a job that was actually advertised on Twitter and I was fortunate enough to go through the process and get the job. There are a lot of hours and a lot to be done but I am loving it.

“It is great being back out on the training pitch every day. It has really given me a lot to look forward to.”

He added: “I was doing football recruitment before for another club. It wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying that, I just wanted to do a bit more.

“I have a lot of friends who are around coaching and they are so enthused and I have seen them grow as people while they have been doing their coaching.

“I saw this opportunity arise and I thought ‘yes, let’s go down a different route’.

“I am enjoying it and I am learning – I have got a lot to learn. Hopefully, within a period of time, I will be okay at it.”