Barnet’s academy manager James Thorne is leaving the club to take up a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ with a Premier League side.

Thorne will be leaving The Hive to take up a senior position at a top-flight club after five years with the Bees.

The club’s academy setup has thrived under Thorne’s stewardship, with the likes of Mauro Vilhete progressing through the club's academy setup and into Martin Allen's first-team squad.

Speaking to the club’s website, Thorne reflected on his time with the Bees: “The academy has become an integral part of my life throughout my five years at the club and it has made immeasurable strides forward both on and off the pitch.

“The quality of coaching and players is a testament to the hard work being done by a dedicated group of staff who will continue to serve the same values, ethics and hard work with an extremely positive determination and attitude which have become the bedrock of all the accomplishments made by the academy.”

Chairman Tony Kleanthous added: “James has been a fantastic servant to the club and he leaves with everyone’s best wishes.

“An opportunity at a Premier League club is one that may only come once in a lifetime so we wish him the very best of luck and look forward to seeing him develop at the very top of the game.

“The academy will continue to operate in the same way moving forward and the club remain committed to the development of young players,” confirmed Kleanthous.