AFCB – Official club website

Joe Roach became responsible for player progression, with Sam Gisborne taking over as director of the Cherries academy.

Effective early June, Roach will step down as academy manager while Gisborne will step up from assistant academy manager.

Speaking on the change in role, AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said: “Our academy has continued to go from strength to strength with Joe at the helm and I know Sam will continue all the good work.

“You only have to look at the first team to see how successful our academy has been and it’s a testament to Joe and his team of dedicated staff.

“I want to thank Joe for his tireless efforts as academy director and wish him well in his new position as head of player progression.

“Sam has made excellent progress since joining the club in 2015 and I know he will continue in his new role as academy manager.”

The change comes more than 20 years after Roach originally joined the club’s staff for his first stint with the Cherries in 2001.

In ten years of service from 2001, he held a variety of roles, having spent time as youth manager, reserve team and under-18 manager, interim first-team manager at twice and one period as assistant manager.

Roach then left in 2011 before being brought back to the football club in 2014 by Eddie Howe to continue his many years of service.

After the 2016/17 campaign, Roach received the Special Recognition Award at the end of season awards ceremony.

Looking back on the past 21 years, the new player progression manager was proud of the work being done at Cherries academy.

“I had the privilege of leading the academy for almost 20 years, with the mission in 2001 of developing the then center of excellence, which later became an academy,” he said.

Joe was keen to express his gratitude to several areas of the club that have supported him during his tenure as academy manager.

“I had a blank sheet of paper supported in the vision by many people at the club, board and management, the fantastic supporters who provided much needed income when needed when the club struggled. incredible financial resources and personnel who have served to develop our players and pursue their own career goals at home or abroad.

“I am proud of the work many people have done over the years, in times of tremendous hardship and success, we have all come together.

“My main objectives included many areas, primarily the production of an education and football program to help humble but determined young men to become footballers or leave with a career ahead of them.

“The academy has produced players for all levels of football over several years, including international caps at all levels.

“For a small club in a tough recruiting area, that says a lot about the focus and determination to develop ‘better people – better players’.”

Speaking on his new role as Head of Player Progression, Joe said: “I have the opportunity in my new role to focus on the older players in the academy.

“That they play through the age brackets, that they support the loan officer when they are on loan, that they train with the first team, but more importantly that they support the care plan players already in place.”

With the change in role seeing Sam Gisborne take over as head of the academy, it led to an added sense of pride for Roach.

“It is with immense pride that I can hand over the responsibilities of the academy to Sam Gisborne as a substitute.

“He has demonstrated a fantastic work ethic, humility and personal growth that allow me to confidently take on another role.”

Gisborne has served as the academy’s deputy director for over a year since March 2021.

He previously served as the academy’s director of operations and facilities, having joined the Cherries as a work placement student in 2015.

“I am delighted to step into the position of director of the academy,” commented Gisborne.

“The academy is in a great place, and Joe has constantly pushed me and other staff to keep improving and providing an environment for our young players to thrive.

“We’ve had great success this year with the academy boys picking up a good number of minutes and helping the first team achieve their goal of promotion to the Premier League.”

He continued: “I look forward to continuing the good work that Joe has done during his long and successful career at the club.

“While it won’t be easy to follow in his footsteps, I’m very confident that with the staff we have now, we can continue to drive the AFC Bournemouth academy forward.”

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