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Joe Bursik departs for Stoke City

Club are proud of young goalkeeper's progress

27 June 2017

AFC Wimbledon has agreed terms with Premier League Stoke City for the transfer of England youth goalkeeper Joe Bursik.

Joe, who joined the Dons at the age of just nine, worked his way right through our academy ranks to earn international honours, helping England Under-17s into the final of the European Championships in May.

Indeed, Joe was one of just two players in the squad to represent clubs outside the Premier League.

Neal Ardley, who gave Joe first-team match experience when he was an unused substitute at Swindon in April, said: "Sometimes these decisions are not just down to me and you have to look at what is best for the player and the club. Unfortunately, we have lost Joe, but he goes with our best wishes for the future.

"We must give Bayzo credit for helping to bring Joe through. With Will Mannion also playing for England, we are proud to have had two young goalkeepers representing our country, and Bayzo has played a big part in developing both of them."

Joe will join the Potters as a scholar on 1 July and Academy Manager Jeremy Sauer wished him every success in his future career.

"Joe has had a remarkable 12 months at the club and we're delighted for him," said Jeremy. "He was offered a pro-contract last year after an impressive start to his U-18s season and we knew early into our FA Youth Cup run that he had lots of clubs watching him. His inclusion in the U-17s England Euro 2017 squad was a brilliant moment for him and his performances in the tournament brought the spotlight onto him even more. He's a great lad and has worked hard at his game with excellent support over the years from his coaches Ashley Bayes, Mark Robinson, Andy Little, Jordan Knight, Michael Hamilton and James Oliver-Pearce.

"The two most obvious measures of success for an academy our size is the contribution home-grown players make to the first-team and also players moving onto bigger clubs for money that supports the club financially. We've been making strides in both areas over the past couple of seasons, which is testament to the hard-work going on behind the scenes from all of our academy staff. Most of our coaches have been here for many years now and we've had support from the club in enabling the academy to continue to grow. Naturally, we'd all like home-grown players, like Joe, to stay here longer, but we're very proud of his achievements and he goes with our best wishes."

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