WIMBORNE Town have announced a new partnership with Cherries, which will see them host Professional Development League fixtures at New Cuthbury.

After Cherries’ academy status upgraded over the summer, seeing them face more regular fixtures, Alan Connell’s side have played two matches at Wimborne’s home already this season as part of a trial.

They have also played once at Vitality Stadium and now plan to spread games across both venues for the next two campaigns.

Magpies compete in Southern League Division One South, the eighth tier of English football, and moved into their New Cuthbury home in 2021.

Finance director at Wimborne, Lee Merrifield, said: “The new partnership with AFC Bournemouth’s academy is an incredibly exciting one.

“Hosting the AFCB academy team here will bring a number of significant benefits for Wimborne Town.

“It will provide an opportunity for our own academy players to learn from a professional set up, as well as cementing our growing relationship with the club in terms of providing opportunities to up and coming AFCB players as part of our first team squad, whilst we’re also looking forward to welcoming more AFC Bournemouth fans to our ground.

“These are exciting times for both clubs and I’d like to thank Jimmy Glass, general manager at Wimborne Town, together with Sam Gisborne and the team at AFC Bournemouth for making this happen.”

The partnership will allow Cherries fans to watch the development squad free of charge at New Cuthbury for the remainder of this season.

Cherries academy manager Gisborne said: “We’re delighted to have the development squad playing at The New Cuthbury for the next two seasons, and we’re grateful to Wimborne Town to be hosting us.

“It’s a great facility, and with free entry for everybody this season, we’d love to see our supporters come down to enjoy the matches.”

Connell’s side host Bristol City on Tuesday (1pm).