Category Archives: AFC Wimbledon

DONS Youth Show The Way

AFC Wimbledon’s Youth side last night showed the Senior Team just how to win a football match by beating Burnley 1-0 in the FA Youth Cup at Plough Lane.

The team has been together for a few years now and they successfully took the game to their Premier League counterparts. The result was all the more enjoyable because Burnley are a Category One Premier League Youth set up unlike AFC Wimbledon.

In another twist of irony, the game at Plough Lane last night was AFC Wimbledons Youth sides first appearance at the Stadium

In addition, it also came some 46 years after the original Wimbledon Travelled to Lancashire in the FA Cup and defeated Burnley 1-0. The goal on that memorable occassion was scored by Mick Mahon.

Fast forward to the present day, however, and it was Wimbledon who took the game to their Premier League opponents.

In yet another ironic twist, The Dons formation for last night’s game was a 3-5-2 formation. Yes!!!… the very same much maligned formation the first team were playing before Glyn Hodges left by mutual consent.

On this occassion the 3-5-2 formation was made up like this: Three central defenders, two holding midfielders-to give cover to the back line while also allowing the left and right sided central defenders to provide overlaps for the midfield, four midfielders, which comprised two wing backs and two central midfielders, one of which was an attacking midfielder and finally one lone striker.

From the outset The Dons took the game to Burnley and were unlucky not to be leading at the break.

It should also be pointed out, that AFC Wimbledon’s youngsters are no strangers to getting good results. In the past they have also won significant victories against Newcastle and Chelsea.

They have also won a trophy this season by beating Rotherham on their own patch, courtesy of a goal from Matthew Cox… Their Goalkeeper, who used to to play, of all things… Rugby!!

Last night, however, he was just one of the stars as Wimbledon scored their 81st minute winner through Paris Lock.

What is clearly very evident, is that the Youth team are showing the Senior Team the way forward and are in a lot of ways better to watch than the seniors, though that is a matter for another day.

For now though, the Dons Youth March on!

Will it be Fortress Plough Lane for the DONS?

The Dons will be looking to turn Plough Lane into a fortress once again with victory against the Latics.

The last time the two sides met Wimbledon edged the game 3-2 at Wigan in what was the then Interim Coach Mark Robinson’s first game in charge.

Ironically, since that game Wigan have also dispensed with their manager, and come into tonights game with Leam Richardson in temporary charge.

The Dons have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, with regular on loan goalkeeper Sam Walker still out with an injured knee. So that will mean Wimbledon Youth Product Nik Tzanev continues between the sticks.

Tzanev will be looking to keep another clean sheet, to back up the one gained at Bristol Rovers on Saturday. He is a more than able deputy.

Dons only other injury concern is over Ethan Chislett who has a slight sprain.

It should prove an interesting game tonight, as a win will take the Dons potentially out of the drop zone depending on other results going their way, but if they play to their true potential then this is certainly possible.

Will it happen? Roll on 8.30pm and we shall see……

Will Wimbledon Gas Bristol Rovers?

AFC Wimbledon go to Bristol Rovers tomorrow looking to build on a fairly solid start under new head coach Mark Robinson.

Robinson, who has been in charge for seven games prior to this game has slowly tweaked a few things and will be looking for a repeat of the victory gained at the same ground, albeit when Rovers had a different manager a few weeks ago.

Since then, Rovers have sacked Paul Tisdale and installed Joey Barton as they themselves look to move away from the bottom end of League One.

That said Wimbledon go in to the game on the back of some better and impressive performances.

A change in formation from a disastrous 3-5-2 to a more balanced 4-2- 3-1 formation has brought some solidity to a defence that in truth should have helped the Dons to a higher place in the league. Robinson’s side currently sit second from bottom in the division.

Current form, however, shows the improvment that has and is slowly starting to take place under Robinson, with the club sitting three places higher with a minus six goal difference.

Wimbledon as alluded to are starting to look a more formidable proposition, with players such as Ollie Palmer. So, it could be that instead of a 4-2-3-1 formation, they might revert back to a more trusted and historical 4-4-2, which has been responsible for a lot of their previous years success, which includes the Original Dons days ( which this author, remembers quite clearly!!)

The game should be an interesting one, given how Barton likes his sides to set up and be organised. Hopefully unlike at Barnsley Barton will keep his fists to himself!!

The Dons have no new injury worries, apart from Ethan Chislett, who has an achilles heel injury, but they have some promising youth products who could be included in the match day squad.

Dons head coach Robinson has stated that the performances need to be 100% from the off and that his team will be attacking on the front foot as that is the only way to win football matches.

So will the Dons gas Rovers? Come 4.45 on Saturday we will find out…..

Remember The Name: Jack Rudoni

This is not a name you will be familiar with, outside of South West 19. Fans of AFC Wimbledon have, however, been drooling over the latest academy product to make an impression in the first team.

His Name?

Jack ‘Rudi’, Rudoni

An absolutely outstanding attacking midfielder, come winger at just 18- years- old, but playing with the maturity of a senior professional.

Unphased or so it seems playing in League One, Rudoni has yet to make 50 appearances for the Dons and so far has already scored two goals. But don’t be misled by these unflattering stats. This is a lad destined for great things

When things start happening for him as they surely will with the grounding Wimbledon are giving him then expect a big side to make a bid for him. If that happens, Wimbledon will find it hard to resist. Lesser talents have been sold in previous years for big amounts and gone on too have good careers

By comparison, Rudoni is different class. Though he is very young, he is the first name on the team sheet most weeks and he will be itching to start and score against Hull today

So…Remember the Name

Jack Rudoni

Wimbledon Look To Build on WIN

AFC Wimbledon, this afternoon will look to build on their good solid win against Gillingham last Tuesday, with another win at ‘Fortress Plough Lane against Hull City.

Hull, currently riding high and …scoring goals pretty freely, arrive at Plough Lane, having suffered a 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town in midweek

They will be looking to bounce back from that and invarioubly when they have a blip, tend to come back strongly in the next match.

Currently the two teams have opposite goal differences…

Hull have a plus 21

Wimbledon have minus 20

So based on the current season long stats, you might expect it to be a one-sided affair in favour of the Tigers

However…

Since taking the reins as AFC Wimbledon head coach Mark Robinson has installed a new belief in the players, tweaking their formation to a more balanced but aggressive 4- 2- 3-1 formation, with emphasis on a high press

The players have shown over the last couple of weeks of using it that it works. The players wanted a more possession based game so that they could choose when they rest during the game, while at the same time, wearing the opposition out

The squad has yet to be selected, but certainly the team that played against Giilingham on Tuesday, would be worthy contenders to start this afternoon.

That being the case, then one name to watch out for is

Jack ‘Rudi’ Rudoni

The academy product is clearly destined for great things and scored the winner against Gillingham.

Are the Dons on the march?

Watch this space to see