FORMER Cherries skipper Ian Cox has returned to the club to take up a position in the community sports trust.

Cox, who starred during a four-season stint with the Dorset side from 1996 to 2000, will coordinate and lead the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.

The 48-year-old has experience from a similar role at Gillingham, where he was also a first-team coach until the end of last season.

Cox told afcbTV: “Any work involving the community is important and the football club is in a position where it can give back to the community, so trying to engage the community to be part of the family is a wonderful thing.”

At the end of his playing career around 10 years ago, Cox worked as a mentor for young people and at an assessment centre to support youngsters before his post at Priestfield Stadium.

Reflecting on how Cherries had grown in his time away, he said: “The ground has completely changed. It has been transformed into a wonderful little ground. It is airy, it is bright and it is breezy, where as before there were a lot of problems when we were playing.

“It is good to see the football club on the up.”

The NCS is a voluntary development project for 15 to 17-year-olds in England and Northern Ireland.