Category Archives: AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon: Out of The Bottom 4?

This weekend, sees AFC Wimbledon, take on Accrington Stanley at the Cherry Red Records Stadium in what is a crunch match for both sides, but with more pressure on Accrington Stanley.

Stanley have endured a miserable run of late, which has seen them slump down the table to 18th Posistion with 44 Points, while AFC Wimbledon, have had a major upturn in fortunes, lifting themselves off the bottom of the table and currently sitting in 21st posistion on 42 points.

3 points at the weekend, would see AFC Wimbledon leapfrog Stanley and leave Accrington in the bottom 4, assuming that other results, involving Southend and Walsall, who are the teams directly above AFC Wimbledon, go true to form with those teams losing.

AFC Wimbledon, have a fully fit squad to choose from, with the fitness of their talisman striker James ‘Hans’ Hanson being monitered closely so that the club keep him on the pitch as opposed to the treatment table during this crucial run in.

Hansen has certainly had a terrible run with injuries since joining from Bradford last summer, as the clubs marquee signing for want of a better word, but the last couple of games he has played in since returning from his latest set back have shown Dons fans exactly what he is capable of.

It remains to be seen if the Dons are outside the bottom 4 at 4.55pm on Saturday.

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AFC Wimbledon: Appoint Nick Daws

The name Nick Daws might be familiar to you. Especially if you are a fan or follower of Scunthorpe United (yes the same team who parted company with Stuart McCall yesterday).

Nick Daws has recently been appointed Head of Recruitment at AFC Wimbledon.

When these appointments are made it is usually against the back drop of the manager not knowing anything about it, or if he did, then not being very happy about it and its fair to say that it has been the cause of a few managerial departures.

However, in AFC Wimbledon’s case, it is a case of the opposite being true.

Daws’ appointment was made on the back of AFC Wimbledon trying to broaden their scouting network, following the appointment of Wally Downes back in December. Downes himself has a very good coaching CV, not to mention a wealth of experience, so AFC Wimbledon are fortunate to have him, but for a coach of his calibre, its surprising no one else had offered him a role.

With Nick Daws on board, it means that AFC Wimbledon can now seek to build a ‘profile team’ i.e. one that fits a certain type of player profile. Young fit and hungry, as opposed to the peice meal team which they strung together last year, a team which nearly back fired.

AFC Wimbledon have suffered with inconsistent form, similar to last season, but that has changed in recent weeks and many would still back them to beat the drop.

Daws’ experience will be invaluable, both behind the scenes, which is his primary focus, with establishing a scouting network, but perhaps from time to time on the coaching side, to add his experience to an already well-prepared managment team.

Nick Daws hasn’t managed a football team since leaving Scunthorpe, but his record there was a good one, given that Scunthorpe are known to lose patience with their managers pretty quickly, so for AFC Wimbledon to pick up a coach of his calibre is testament to their board’s desire to push onwards and upwards.

How much do you think Nick Daws can improve AFC Wimbledon?

League One: 11 Teams & an 8 point battle

As we near the business end of the season in the English Football League One, there are 11 teams, seperated by just 8 points.

8 points might not sound a lot given the previous relegation history of this league, but this has been no ordinary season in this league.

It has given us everything including drama, unexpected results, upturns in form, managerial changes, some good some bad and some just inspired.

From Bristol Rovers in 13th Position on 44 points, down to Bradford City, who this week took over from AFC Wimbledon as the strong men of the division, on 36 points, it could be said that none of the teams from 13th, down to 20th are considered safe, by any stretch.

Bristol Rovers, Scunthorpe , AFC Wimbledon, Rochdale and Bradford, among these teams have changed managers this term, with Bradford and Rochdale , being the latest to change, though it could be said, that in Bradford’s case, the appointment of Gary Bowyer, is their 4th Managerial change this season, with history not favoring relegated teams who change manager more than once.

Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon, appointed managers who have fresh innovative ideas and this has been reflected in these two clubs upturn in form, both previous occupants of the bottom slot, Rovers now occupy 13th, with AFC Wimbledon sitting in 22nd position and just 3 points away from the teams directly above them.

In fact a win at home to Gillingham on Saturday, would potentially see the ‘Dons climb out of the bottom 4, which would represent a total turn around in fortunes.

Previous seasons have seen 50 points being the safety mark to avoid relegation, but given the unpredictable nature of results this season, and with just 8 games to go, it is quite conceivable that less than 50 points will be enough this season?

Either way, it promises to be a very exciting and potentially nerve-wracking end to an incredible season.

Who do you think will survive this season ?

Life’s Good: AFC Wimbledon’s 2nd Award

AFC Wimbledon might be bottom of League One at time of writing, but if you look at current form, the dons sit 3rd after a revitalised run of results.

Either way, life is good for the club, or at least it is for them in the eyes of LG (which stands for Life’s Good), because they have awarded AFC Wimbledon the ‘Performance of the week trophy’ following their win against Doncaster Rovers at the Cherry Red Records stadium.

At face value, you might not be that impressed with the LG award, but that view might change slightly when considering the panel of judges associated with the decision.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Howard Wilkinson and Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett to name but 3, all arrived at the decision to award the trophy to the club.

The award received on behalf of the club by team manager, Wally Downes, marks the second time Downes has won the award since taking charge of the Dons, and shows how much the club’s on-field fortunes have changed in such a short time.

From being virtually written off as relegated in December, they now stand level on points with Bradford City at the bottom of the league, however, as aforementioned, Wimbledon’s upturn of form has set up an exciting end of the season.

So in what can be mostly be considered a disappointing season for The Dons, could life be looking on the up?

AFC Wimbledon : Is The Impossible Likely?

AFC Wimbledon, formed just 17 years ago, from the ashes of Wimbledon’s contentious move from Croydon to Milton Keynes, have exceeded all expectations in their journey so far

They had…

No ground, players, management, ball or kit and had to hold trials on Wimbledon Common, against the backdrop of knowing they had been accepted into the combined counties league, yes that far down the football league pyramid.

They are a unique club and one that is well used to adversity.

Fast forward 17 years and numerous promotions later, the club find themselves in the English Football League 1, bottom, with gates of 4,700 as an average, and apart from the playing staff, and commercial team, every other job at the club is covered by a volunteer work force, the majority of who are AFC Wimbledon fans first and foremost, or who have AFC Wimbledon connections.

This current season is AFC Wimbledon’s 3rd in that league and following on from last seasons close call with relegation,  where they put together a run of 7 unbeaten games at the business end of the season to survive, the management team decided to build a profile team, in the hope that this season would help push the club on.

Out went experienced, but by football standards aged players and others who were at the end of their contracts, replaced by promising players from their academy, such as Anthony Hartigan, Will Nightingale, Toby Sibbick and Paul Kalambayi, boosted by the experienced and proven goalscorer James Hansen ..with a point to prove.

Early season expectations looked good as the club climbed to 8th, however, a very poor run of form saw them slip, almost in free fall, to their present league position.

An absolutely hard to watch match at Haringey Borough of the Ryman League, which though AFC Wimbledon won, it was left late to do so and ultimately culminated in the ‘mutual arrangement’ of both Neal Ardley and Neil Cox leaving the club, for pastures new.

Wally Downes was appointed in December, with the club seemingly well adrift at the bottom and odds on favourites to go down very quickly… Doing so, would bring the stigma of being the first Wimbledon team, since re~formation to be relegated.

However, some swift re~organisation and education of the players. plus some shrewd acquistions in the January transfer window, of players such as Steve Seddon, Aaron Ramsdale an England Youth Goalkeeper and Dylan Connolly from Ireland, steadied the ship, together with a switch in formation from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 made the Dons harder to beat.

An encouraging run, has seen the 9 point gap between them and 5th from bottom, halved to just 4 points, the run has seen them wallop West Ham 4~2 at Kingsmeadow and achieve some impressive results against higher placed opposition in the form of Doncaster Rovers and most recently Peterborough United.

With Southend United away up next, who themselves are not in the greatest of form, a win at Roots hall, would put AFC Wimbledon right back in to the mix on 39 points, just 11 off of the ‘supposed’ safety mark of 50 points.

So is the impossible likely?… Well given the steel the team have now, you would think that on the back of a move back to their home borough, that being a League 1 club, would be a good prospect and one not to bet against, combined with the fact that on current form Wimbledon now sit 3rd against Southend’s 23rd placing, it might just happen.