CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe highlighted Harry Cornick’s raw potential after today completing a deal for the Christchurch hotshot.

Wessex League star Cornick will be tasked with making the step into the professional ranks after putting pen to paper at Dean Court this afternoon.

Howe confirmed that Cornick, who signed an 18-month deal, would continue to turn out for Christchurch and complete his A-levels before joining Cherries permanently in pre-season.

The Poole-based teenager was snapped up by manager Howe after impressing during a week’s trial with the League One club in November.

Howe told the Bournemouth Echo: “He is a very young player who hasn’t had any coaching, as such, at academy or professional level.

“I think he has got raw attributes. He has got pace, good feet and an eye for goal – which are good qualities to have.

“It is very much a case of a year for Harry to see if he can make a career in the game. We are not trying to build him up at this stage.

“I think it is a risk worth taking from our point of view and I think it is a risk worth taking from his point of view that he gives a year to professional football to see if he can develop a career.

“He does have the raw attributes but he does need a lot of work and dedication to this sport now to see if he can make a go of it.”

Cornick will complete his studies at Poole Grammar School while training with Cherries and playing for Christchurch this season.

Howe added: “He wants to finish his A-levels which we can only support him with. I think it is a good idea for him to finish his education. He is a really bright lad as well.

“He will finish his education and continue to play for Christchurch, which is good for him and a good learning environment for him at the moment, and he will train with us when he can in between his studies. We will pick him up at the start of pre-season.”

While Christchurch are likely to host Cherries in a friendly as part of the deal, the Wessex Premier club will not receive a transfer fee as Cornick was not on contract.

Cornick becomes the fifth Christchurch player to join a professional club, following Jody Craddock (Cambridge United), Dan West (Aston Villa), Ben Dickenson (Brighton) and Michael Green (Port Vale).

The Bournemouth Echo first revealed news of Cherries’ interest in Cornick in September, while the winger/forward was also understood to have attracted the attention of top-flight outfits including Stoke City, Southampton, Fulham and Reading.

In an interview with the Bournemouth Echo in September, Christchurch captain Dan Crutchley, who has also taught Cornick in his day job as a teacher, said: “Once he completes his studies and gets his grades, the world is his oyster and he can make his choice. He is going to have a career in the game whether it is this year or in the future, so I don’t think there is any rush.”