AFC Bournemouth development coach Alan Connell has praised his side for an “incredible” season, sharing how he has “loved every minute” of Cherries’ debut season as a Category Two academy.

Cherries rounded off the 2023/24 campaign with a 6-0 dismantling of Crewe Alexandra at Vitality Stadium, placing Connell’s young charges third in the southern section of the Professional Development League.

Michael Dacosta Gonzalez and Kian Tydeman bagged braces, whilst captain Max Kinsey and talismanic striker Daniel Adu-Adjei also got on the scoresheet.

Speaking after defeating Crewe, Connell told the Daily Echo: “This season's been incredible. I've loved every minute of it.

“I love working with this group.

“I'm delighted with how far they've come individually, and as a team.

“The most pleasing thing about (the Crewe game) was that our supporters came along and saw what this group have delivered day in, day out, week in, week out.

“They showed the identity that I've demanded from them every single day.”

Cherries entered the final game of the season knowing they had an outside chance of sneaking into the play-offs.

Victory would place Bournemouth level on points with Swansea City, who occupied the final play-off spot of second, but Cherries required a winning margin of 15 goals to overhaul the Welsh side.

After finding six goals in the first period, Cherries were thwarted by an improved Crewe defence in the second period.

“The boys knew the scoreline that we needed,” Connell explained.

“So I just asked us to play how we always do.

“They took it upon themselves to get the ball back in play as quickly as possible.

“I said before, every second counts.

“And to be fair to the boys, I think they made every second count, with the way we dominated the game, the chances we created, the intensity we played at.

“It was a pleasure to watch, and it's a shame we couldn't score more.

“But credit to Crewe that second half, for limiting us to probably less chances than we had in the first half.