STEVE Cook admits he had not even met Cherries' latest debutant Ajani Burchall before this weekend and added: "He can't train with us day-to-day because he's at school!"

The 16-year-old Bournemouth Collegiate pupil made a surprise first appearance in the Cherries matchday squad for the Championship clash with Huddersfield Town at Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

And with the hosts 5-0 up, Jason Tindall used the opportunity to bring on Burchall in the closing stages.

The Bermuda-born talent has been featuring mainly for the under-18s this season and first-team captain Cook admits he was not too familiar with youngster.

Asked if he knew much about Burchall before the winger's surprise call-up, Cook told the Daily Echo: "No, I met him on Saturday morning.

"JT pulled me and said he’s been doing really well for the youth team. You could see how special a player he is.

"His first involvement was checked his shoulder, cut across a player and won his foul. For a 16-year-old, that awareness, that knowhow, I think the club have produced a really good player.

"On Saturday we had a few players who have come through the youth system, so it’s terrific. The club’s been known for that and I think Ajani has got great talent.

"He obviously can’t train with us day-to-day because he’s at school!

"But I’m sure he’s got a very good future and a very proud moment for his family. His father was here as well and I’m delighted for him and his family."

Cook continued: "He’s been here four years I think and just turned 16. It’s great for the club, it’s great for himself to make your debut at 16.

"That will be something he’ll never forget. He could’ve had an assist on another day and hopefully there’s more to come from him."

Asked if Burchall appeared daunted or starstruck by being thrust into the first-team environment, Cook said: "I don’t think we saw any of that. He was confident.

"I do find with the younger generation now, they are a confident bunch.

"It’s different from maybe when the likes of myself and the older lads were making their debuts because it was quite a different changing room there. Our changing room in there now is quite young, a lot of players come from the youth system.

"I think you saw that in his performance when he came on.

"He was confident to get on the ball and I think he’ll go into school on Monday and he’ll be floating around and he’s the talk of the town at the moment so it’s really nice.

"A very positive spin on what’s been a really difficult year for everyone and it’s great for the fans to see someone coming through as well.

"All in all, a terrific day for the club, for him and a big result for the team."