Date: 29th June 2017 at 8:01am
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AFC Wimbledon are coming to terms with the loss of England U17 goalkeeper Joe Bursik, who has left Kingsmeadow for Premier League club Stoke.

His exploits at the European Championships last month caught the eye with Stoke the club to land the highly rated keeper.

Our friends at Vital Stoke said:

Stoke, already in the capable hands of England goalkeeper Jack Butland and the excellent Lee Grant, looking to safeguard the future in that area, have agreed a deal with AFC Wimbledon for Joe Bursik.

Bursik, 16, was part of the England U17 team that made it to the final of the European Championships last month and has been at Wimbledon since he was eight, making a first team squad as an unused substitute against Swindon in April.

Wimbledon boss Neil Ardley was quoted by Sky Sports: ‘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.’

Despite his disappointment at losing the keeper to Stoke, Dons boss Ardley took comfort in the players coming through at the League One club.

Adding: ‘We must give Bayzo [goalkeeping coach Ashley Bayes] 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.’

He’ll come to the Bet365 Stadium initially as a scholar, looking to make his way through the system at Stoke before one day, perhaps, becoming the Potters number one?

When selected in the England U17 squad this summer Bursik was one of only two players that didn’t come from current Premier League clubs, which is some achievement in itself and an indication to his future potential.

Used courtesy of Vital Stoke.

Once the big boys of the Premier League and Championship come calling Wimbledon will face a battle to retain players, not that leaving the Dons will always prove the right decision.