Andy Pilley's pride after James Hill swapped Fleetwood Town for AFC Bournemouth

Fleetwood Town owner Andy Pilley was pleased for all parties following the sale of James Hill to AFC Bournemouth.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 12:30 pm

The Town academy product made the switch to the south coast on Wednesday for a club record sale.

There are add-ons to come as well, while Town also boast a healthy sell-on percentage.

Having made his first-team debut against Blackpool aged just 16, Hill has gone from strength to strength.

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James Hill joined AFC Bournemouth in midweek Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

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His performances for the Cod Army saw him receive England age group call-ups along the way.

Hill will now be trying to help the Cherries secure promotion back to the Premier League, with his new club sitting top of the Championship.

“I’m delighted for James, I’m delighted for Fleetwood football club and I’m also delighted for Bournemouth,” Pilley told The Gazette.

“I think it is a win-win scenario. It gives us enormous pride.

“We bang the drum enough about the academy and it is great to see that we have achieved our goal here and that James is going to be playing at the top of the Championship and, inevitably, the Premier League.

“The conversations have been ongoing for a long time with James and James’ representative. They have assisted James now and in making this move happen.

“This is what we’re about as a football club. We want to shake our young players’ hands and wish them the very best and, eventually, who knows what the future may hold?

“I think he will establish himself as a Premier League player and then his future is what he makes it.

“What I can say is that the fee is undisclosed. I respect the privacy of AFC Bournemouth but I will say it is a club record fee.”

Hill had only six months left on his Fleetwood contract but that was of no concern to the Cod Army owner.

Clubs are entitled to a compensation package should a player who has come through their academy leave on a free transfer.

Pilley had faith in that system should Hill not leave for a fee this month and knew he was destined for a higher level.

He said: “His contract was not of any real concern to us because we would have been compensated anyway and there is a structure in place that values a player if he was under 24.

“So we wouldn’t have been out of pocket and I do believe in the system that we would have got a fair compensation for James.

“I just think the timing was right. He has been playing in League One and he is a player that stands out.

“He looks like a Rolls Royce at the back, he’s only going to get better and let’s be honest, AFC Bournemouth are top of the Championship for a reason.

“He is going to be playing with better players and that will, naturally, only improve him still.”

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