Member News & Events

Village Hotel Club’s boost for Cherries youngsters

AFC Bournemouth is partnering with the Village Hotel for a sixth year in succession.

The Village Hotel will continue its partnership with the Cherries as regional supporters for season 2019/20.

The Village Hotel, located off Castle Lane East, supports AFC Bournemouth’s under-21 squad by providing the team access to the leisure facilities, helping with recovery sessions as well as personal development.

The Village will also continue to sponsor the coaching kit of AFC Bournemouth under-21s manager Shaun Cooper.

Facilities at the Village include a state-of-the-art gym, spin studio, spa, 25-metre swimming pool, meeting and events facilities and free parking.

AFC Bournemouth partnerships manager Amy Marks said: “The Village Hotel in Bournemouth has stunning facilities and provides a brilliant venue for our young players to stay match fit.

“We are delighted to have signed them up for a sixth consecutive year and look forward to an ongoing and fruitful relationship.”

Amy Spreadbury, director of sales at Village Hotels, said: “We are so pleased to be continuing our partnership with AFC Bournemouth which sees the Premier League club’s players utilise our gym, spa and pool.

“Seeing the Cherries youngsters about the place is an inspiration to so many people to stay fit and active – and this perfect link between two regional sporting market leaders keeps that message at the forefront of our minds.”

The Village Hotel is also continuing as an executive partner of AFC Business for a third season running and will be regularly attending corporate and club events.

AFC Business, the free-to-join business club with 1,800 members, is the engine for all the club’s commercial activities.

It was launched in 2009 and gives members exclusive offers at AFC Bournemouth, access to events and is a great chance to meet local businesses. 

The monthly events – consisting of breakfasts, evening occasions and director level events – are well established and regularly sell out in advance.

For further information about the business club, email or call 0344 576 1910

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AFC Bournemouth U18s Cook Up a Storm at Crumbs Project

Crumbs project

AFC Bournemouth’s Under-18s squad recently joined forces with staff at the Crumbs Project for a special charity bake-off.

The Crumbs Project works with adults with mental health conditions, learning disabilities, brain injuries and stabilized addictions, providing supportive training services and work experience. Crumbs specializes in catering training, but also offers a variety of hospitality, housekeeping and administration designed to support trainees into either paid or voluntary work placements.

The under-18s squad partnered up with trainees at the Crumbs Project, with each team creating a variety of unusual bakes to raise funds for the charity through a JustGiving page. The 5 teams each produced a showstopper cake, each combining a unique variety of flavors, some of which included; Beetroot and Chocolate, and Vanilla and Pea.

After baking and a lunch break, completed cakes were judged by staff from the academy, as well as sponsors Strategic Solutions.

Crumbs trainee Dennis, alongside Ryan Glover and Tom Hanfrey stole the show with a delicious carrot cake, being crowned the winners of the competition.

Commenting on the charity bake off Crumbs Operations Manager, Leanne Miller said; “This has been an incredible experience for our trainees to work alongside AFC Bournemouth’s U18s players and show-off their culinary expertise. All our staff and trainees have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and has been one of the many highlights since being chosen as the club’s staff charity partner.”

Donations to the Crumbs Project charity bake off can be made via Just Giving page:

For further information about The Crumbs Project please visit or call 01202 519320.

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Back to college for star defender Chris

Back to college for star defender Chris

Cherries star defender Chris Mepham joined in with young players at the latest Premier League Kicks session staged by the Premier League club.

Project ambassador Chris attended a session for 15 participants on the 3G pitches at Vitality Stadium
Chris got involved by giving the teams a motivational talk, oversaw the five-a-side games and took part in a Q&A session before signing autographs and posing for photos. The event was supported by Bournemouth & Poole College, an official partner of AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sport Trust.

The College, which sponsors Premier League Kicks in the Poole region, became partners with the Cherries in January this year and will also continue its support into 2019/20 season. The College, which has sites at Lansdowne in Bournemouth and North Road and Tower Park in Poole, is the largest provider of further education and apprenticeships in the area.

AFC Bournemouth’s self-funding, non-profit Community Sports Trust (CST) runs the Premier League-backed scheme locally with more than 1,000 young people participating last season. CST head Steve Cuss said: “The project encourages young people to get involved in playing sports in the evenings and at weekends, which sees them benefit from a healthier lifestyle, improved well-being and most importantly offers them a safe environment to enjoy themselves and have fun with friends.

“AFC Bournemouth is very much a community club – we work with and for the community for the benefit of all concerned – hence why the long-term support of one of the area’s major educational establishments is indispensible.”

The latest Premier League Kicks session was part of an employability workshop that Bournemouth & Poole College delivered at the stadium followed by a behind-the-scenes stadium tour carried out by the CST coaches.

The workshop included a presentation on first impressions and how young people should portray themselves in front of potential employers, as well as advice on CV writing and interviews.

The next activities on the 3G pitches included the team building exercise ‘Gutterball’, in which participants worked as a team to move a ball from one end of the pitch to the other, just using pieces of guttering, whilst going around obstacles.

College Commercial Director Matt Butcher said: “A lot of team work and communication was involved in the day – which is exactly how we see our partnership with the Cherries. We are proud to support the Community Sports Trust which does such great work with so many young people right across the area.”

“The players themselves are excellent role models – we are grateful that Chris gave up his time to take part in our event, which was a brilliant extra for our participants. We want to spread our message to young supporters of the Cherries that we are there to help as many young people as possible to go after the career of their dreams and that there are exciting opportunities available at the College.”

Nationally, 69 football clubs are involved in the flagship Premier League Kicks scheme, engaging with more than 225,000 youngsters since 2006. It aims to promote participation in sport in areas of high need, provide opportunities for young people to develop skills and confidence and support young people to progress into positive pathways.

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AFC Business Breakfast

Join the AFC Business team for a morning of coffee and hearty food to kick-start your day and, more importantly, to give you an opportunity to network with lots of friendly faces within the local business community.

We’re less than a month from the next AFC Business Breakfast which takes place on Wednesday 8th May between 7:30am and 9:30am at Vitality Stadium.

The itinerary for the morning is:

  • 7:30am to 8:00am tea and coffee served and the chance to meet other business people in a relaxed and friendly environment
  • 8:20am delicious full English or continental breakfast served
  • 9:00am guests are invited to move tables and meet with other business delegates
  • There will be an opportunity to win a business card draw
  • 9:30am event closes

This breakfast is just £15 plus VAT per person. Due to the popularity of this event, we advise booking early to guarantee your place.

This is the last AFC Business event of the football season, so please bring plenty of business cards to make the most of the morning.

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University on the ball with AFC Bournemouth

University on the ball with AFC Bournemouth

Businesses in Dorset could take a leaf out of AFC Bournemouth’s book and draw upon the skills of Bournemouth University’s students and academics.

More than 70 businessmen and women heard how BU provides the Premier League club with expertise across a range of disciplines.

That included a testing time 11 years ago when the Cherries could barely pay staff before a series of promotions to top-flight football, with BU’s students proudly mucking in.
The March breakfast networking event by AFC Business, which has 2,000 members and is the club’s free-to-join business club, was held at BU’s Fusion Building on Talbot Campus.

BU has been the club’s official higher education partner since 2013, with AFC Bournemouth’s commercial director Rob Mitchell, a BU graduate, forging links back in 2008 when he arrived at the Cherries

He told the audience: “One of the first partnerships I wanted to forge was with the university because of the resources here, the students, the academics – the support that the university could give would be boundless.”

BU has provided the Cherries since 2008 with skills across various disciplines, including sports science, marketing, research, coaching, physiotherapy and media, as well as helping out on match days.

A number of students have gone on to work full-time at AFC Bournemouth, Rob said. “It has been a bit of a career path for them.”

There are also player appearances at BU, with guest talks, special topics and links with equality and diversity and mental health and wellbeing.

BU is also supports AFC Bournemouth’s girls’ football programme as part of the club’s drive to promote and increase female participation in the game.

Attendees heard how the football club and university teamed up on a coaching programme for 180 Chinese students, over three years, as part of China’s bid to be an international force in soccer by 2050.

Jim Andrews, BU’s chief operating officer, said that engagement between business and the university, which has 20,000 students and contributes £1 million a day to the regional economy, is essential if talent is to be kept within the region.

He said: “Something that makes BU distinct is the number of students we have on placement at any one time. We are one of the only institutions to offer a work placement for every undergraduate course. The reason we do that is because work placement means better employment outcomes. It is really important to us that we work with local companies, national companies and international companies to provide those opportunities for our students to get real-life practical experiences because that is what you, as companies, are looking for.”

The event also heard an update on the regional and national economy from Professor Jim Roach and from Ian Jones, head of regional community partnerships at BU.

After the event Rob said: “This was another informative breakfast event for decision-makers and entrepreneurs, with us showing how businesses in Dorset can successfully follow the Cherries’ example by drawing upon the considerable skills and expertise of BU’s students and academics across a range of disciplines.”

For further information about the business club please email Aysia Smith at aysia.smith

Official partners of AFC Business are Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Dorset Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Hill Osborne and Strategic Solutions.

The next business club event, the spring BBQ, takes place on 11th April at Vitality Stadium, followed by a networking breakfast at the same venue on 8th May.

Paying respects

Thanking the business partners of AFC Business, Rob paid tribute to the late Bill Riddle, the vice president and chairman of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce and a highly respected figure in the town’s business community.

Rob said: “Bill was a fantastic supporter of the football club and business club. He was an avid Sunderland supporter but I know that AFC Bournemouth was very close to his heart as well.

“On behalf of the football club I want to send our sincere condolences and thoughts and prayers to Bill’s family, friends and everyone that was associated with Bill as well.”

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Cherries new stars at children’s soccer school

Cherries new stars at children’s soccer school

AFC Bournemouth players Dominic Solanke and Nathaniel Clyne surprised almost 150 children at the Community Sports Trust’s latest soccer school. The Bournemouth sessions, which run throughout every half term and school holiday, are kindly sponsored by local printers CMP Print, based in Poole.

After a day filled with drills, shooting practise and small-sided games, the two players arrived to give out prizes and take part in a question-and-answer session.

Following the presentations, the children grabbed an autograph from the players, both of whom joined the club in the January transfer window. As the day drew to a close, striker Dominic spoke about the importance of such sessions and the development of young players.

“It’s great, I think this is where it all starts. It’s really enjoyable and, back when I was their age, I loved just playing football, so it’s great to see so many here. It’s nice for us to come down and see it all here. It’s exciting for the kids and great to see them smiling. I remember some players doing the same for me so it’s a good feeling to come and do it for them.”

Paul Dawe, owner of CMP Print, also expressed his delight at the growing number of children attending the sessions. “It’s great to see so many people here, in particular the number of girls. It just goes to show how the sessions are evolving. The club put a lot of time into running these soccer schools, which is why we like to get involved and putting something back into it. Everyone does such a great job and it’s nice to be involved.”

AFC Bournemouth have thanked CMP Print, who sponsor the club’s soccer schools in Bournemouth and have been official partners of the Community Sports Trust for four consecutive seasons.

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Surman talks internet safety at school

Surman talks internet safety

To mark this week’s global Safer Internet Day, AFC Bournemouth vice-captain Andrew Surman was a special guest at a Bournemouth school to talk about the importance of staying safe online.

He headed to Bournemouth Collegiate School along with the AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust to help deliver the popular Connect with Care project on the subject and hand out prizes to some of the students.

Connect with Care is sponsored by IT Support Business (ITSB) Ltd, which is based in London and Bournemouth.
The IT support and security specialist became an official partner of the Community Sports Trust halfway into the 2016/17 season and is continuing the relationship now, over two years later.

Lee Dredge, CEO of ITSB, said: “It’s about being safe online and using the internet safely. Within the schools themselves we look after the ICT infrastructure and keep pupils safe while they’re in school – and as part of that I feel we have a duty to help educate them for personal internet use for the children and the parents as well.

“It’s really good to be involved and good to be here with Andrew today. The children are really enjoying themselves and it’s a great way to learn – the pupils are really motivated an excited about today.”

Andrew, who is the ambassador for the project, also spoke about his experience at the school. “Being a father myself, internet safety is of utmost importance to me to keep them safe,” the Cherries midfielder explained. “The kids seem like a really good group, we had a question and answer session and they asked some really good questions.”

“They’ve come up with some really good ideas and it’s important to touch base with these kids because sometimes they may not be aware of the dangers online.”

Other CST partners include Yellow Buses, Curtiss-Wright and Goadsby. For more information on partnering with AFC Bournemouth, please email Amy Brunton on: or call: 01202 726313.

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Cherries player earns pupils’ respect

Cherries player earns pupils’ respect

AFC Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook thrilled year five pupils at Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School by coaching them in the value of respect.

Corpus Christi in Boscombe is the latest school to benefit from the club’s Citizenship & Respect programme, which is delivered by AFC Bournemouth’s self-funding, non-profit Community Sports Trust and supported by Goadsby.

Independent estate agency Goadsby, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, sponsors the highly popular project which uses young people’s love of football to encourage good behaviour at school, at home, in sport and within the community.

Lewis said: “It was great meeting all the children. During the workshops the Community Sports Trust team and I worked with the one year five class and one year two class to discuss and share ideas about the importance of respect.

“They were all very engaged and enthusiastic and I was impressed by the thought they put into their questions and answers.”

Lewis was also quizzed by the children on his career and gave out AFC Bournemouth branded prizes.

The youngsters also received booklets provided by Goadsby which include fun activities and examples of how they can show respect within football.

Paul Stewart, managing director of Goadsby (Commercial), said: “This is our fifth season as a partner of AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust and it continues to be very rewarding for us as a company to be involved, both with the club and a programme which has such a positive impact on young people’s lives.”

Steve Cuss AFC Bournemouth’s Head of Community said: “The Citizenship & Respect programme is always a big hit with children and we are hugely grateful to Goadsby who have established themselves as a loyal club partner and a real community champion.”

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Tyrone gets kick from helping youngsters

Cherries star Tyrone Mings put 30 children through their paces at AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium as part of a growing campaign to encourage more youngsters to keep fit.

The defender is club ambassador for Premier League Kicks, a nationwide initiative which enables Bournemouth to offer free football in a safe environment.

AFC Bournemouth’s self-funding, non-profit Community Sports Trust (CST) runs the Premier League-backed scheme locally with more than 1,000 young people participating last season.

Beales department stores, official partner of the community sports trust since August, sponsors the Bournemouth region of Premier League Kicks.

CST head Steve Cuss said: “This expanding initiative encourages young people to get involved in playing sports in the evenings.

“They benefit from a healthier lifestyle, improved well-being and, most importantly, have a safe environment in which to enjoy themselves.

“Bournemouth is very much a community club – we work with and for the community for the benefit of all concerned – and hence the support of a major, long-established business such as Beales is invaluable.

Tyrone attended a session for under-10s on the 3G pitches at Vitality Stadium.

He said: “I love being involved with this scheme. Not only does it provide a brilliant opportunity for kids to stay active, but there’s also a chance we might discover the new Lionel Messi.”

Beales department stores began trading in the town in 1881 – and remains on the original site – and recently returned to private new ownership as a family department store group.

Chief executive officer Tony Brown said: “As one of Bournemouth’s longest-established businesses, it is incumbent on us to give something back to the community which supports us and which we serve.

“Sponsoring Premier League Kicks is a fantastic way of Beales getting involved with an important programme that enhances the lives of our youngsters.”

The Old Christchurch road store houses a collection of official AFC Bournemouth merchandise, including replica kits, scarves and a range of souvenirs.

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