AFC Bournemouth Under-18s manager Alan Connell has said that Academy graduate Kyle Taylor’s first professional start for the Cherries on Saturday was a “big boost to everyone at the Academy.”
Bournemouth lost 3-1 to Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup, and a rotated squad gave Taylor the chance to play his first senior cap for Eddie Howe’s side.
Taylor has been at the academy since the age of nine, signed a professional contract at 12, and was 16-years-old when Connell first laid eyes on the central midfielder.
“I first came across Kyle when he was around the age of 16. I could see then he had a lot of technical ability, but physically he’s come on in the last few years as well. It was a big boost to everyone at the Academy when we saw him starting for the first team on Saturday.
“It shows that there’s a pathway and that these things can happen”
“It was huge credit to him and the work that he’s put in over the last few years. Hopefully, he can go on and make many more appearances for the first team in the future.
Connell was speaking exclusively to BuZZ after seeing over his side’s 4-1 league win against Yeovil Town Under-18s on Tuesday.
“We finished training on Saturday morning, just as the teams for the FA Cup match had been announced. Joe Roach, one of our academy managers, says it shows that there is a pathway and that it can happen [rising from the academy to the first team] if you do everything right.
“He’s a player we’ll obviously be using as an example to the current Academy players that there are opportunities for them if they apply themselves properly and do what’s required.”