by Dan Davis (@dan_davis20)
AFC Bournemouth skipper Simon Francis has taken full ownership of teammate Harry Arter’s Academy.
The academy was established in 2016, and encourages development and participation in football for local children aged 16 and under.
Training sessions are currently based at Ashdown Leisure Centre, Poole, with further sessions planned in the near future at Two Riversmeet Centre in Christchurch.
Irish international Arter told afcb.co.uk: “I’d like to thank everyone for attending the academy since the opening. After recently starting a family, I haven’t been able to attend as many sessions as I would have liked.
“We’re delighted to have got the academy to where it is today and we thank you for all of your support so far.
“There is nobody better placed to take over the academy than my closest friend in football and our club captain, Simon Francis. I’m delighted Franno has agreed to become the new owner and we’re excited for what the future holds.”
Francis, who has made 236 appearances for the Cherries since joining in 2011, expressed his excitement for the future of the academy.
“It’s a really exciting time. Harry and I are close friends and I was really pleased for him when he started the academy.” the skipper told the club website. “It’s always been something i’ve been interested in.
“We’ll be looking to take things to the next level and I’m really excited about it all…with the help of the club we’ve got some exciting times ahead.”