Tag Archives: AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon Suspend Wally Downes…

AFC Wimbledon, currently in the bottom 3 of League 1 have today suspended their first team manager Wally Downes until further notice, for a breach of FA Betting rules.

A Club Statement Read:

Club manager Wally Downes has been suspended from first team duties pending further notice.

The club has been informed that Wally has been charged by the FA for Misconduct under FA Rule E1(b) in respect of 8 bets placed on football matches between 30 November 2013 and 12 July 2019.

Given the seriousness of this breach in FA regulations, the club has decided to suspend Wally with immediate effect, giving time for the club and Dons Trust boards to look at the allegations more closely and make a further announcement in due course.

 

This couldn’t have come at a worse time for AFC Wimbledon, who are in the middle of a bad run of form.

Wally Downes was appointed, in December last year and led them against all the odds to survival in League 1, thanks to a last day draw at Bradford City.

The period in question relates to a time when Downes was employed in India with Kerala Blasters during 2016/2017. And carried on during his subsequent appointment as manager for AFC Wimbledon in December 2018.

Prior to his appointment as manager and during his interview process, Downes was quizzed on comments made which related to homophobia on his Twitter account. Though the board were happy with his explanation of these matters and his Twitter account was quickly deleted.

It remains to be seen what the outcome will be. Downes will most likely be aware of the outcome for Joey Barton, now manager at Fleetwood Town; Joey was charged for the same offence and suspended from all football activities for 18 months.

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AFC Wimbledon One Win from Safety…

Incredibly, AFC Wimbledon, written off as dead and buried back in December, when they were bottom of League 1 and 12 points adrift of safety, now, thanks to an incredible run, which culiminated in a victory over Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, saw them rise to the dizzy heights of 19th and 49 points.

The run has been thanks to the now inspired appointment of Wally Downes, who through clever management, and sound, solid work on the leakiest defence in League 1, has guided the club to within 1 point of safety, which can be totally cemented on Saturday with a win, or possibly a draw at Bradford City, themselves already relegated.

Given other teams situtations and current form around them, a point might be enough to secure League 1 status for another season, which would be their 4th in this league.

A win would definitely be enough.

Downes has been clever in his man management, since his appointment by placing the responsibility, rightly so, on the shoulders of the players, saying they had demonstrated standards higher than that he was looking for, which is brilliant because then the players have to keep to those standards, no matter what… & the end result justifies the comments.

Equally, though he hasn’t scored as many goals as he would have liked, James Hanson, has also been managed through a dreadful injury spell and in recent weeks has spent more time on the playing pitch, than the treatment room, and in doing so has provided a great foil for Joe Pigott who has carried on scoring, almost freely, following his own injury troubles.

With these two at the head of a solid looking 3~5~2 Formation, it has proved to be a successful formation, even though it has its weaknesses, compared to a more balanced 4~2~3~1, for Wimbledon and its thanks to this that they have climbed to 19th Posistion now.

Bradford City away, is now their last game of the season and it would be slightly ironic, if James ‘Hans’ Hanson found his scoring boots in that game, to most definitely ensure Wimbledons survival.

That would be a major boost for the Dons, who, would then be moving back to Wimbledon Stadium, as a league 1 club and for the players concerned, would mean they avoid an absolutely unwanted bit of history, by being the first ever AFC Wimbledon team to be relegated as a league club.

Saturday awaits and for the Dons it can’t come quick enough.

 

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?

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.

Will the Dons,see off the Posh

Now for older readers of this post, it might well evoke memories of the day at Wembley when top coin John Motsons phrase

The crazy gang have beaten the Culture Club

 

Well it might not be the culture club tonight, but it is the Posh of Peterborough United who visit the Cherry Red Records Stadium, to play AFC Wimbledon in a EFL league 1 Fixture,  a resurgent AFC Wimbledon it must be said, who have not experienced the season they were hoping for and are currently showing how strong they are by propping up the rest of League 1

Since the appointment of Wally Downes in December last year, what was looking an increasingly lost cause, given AFC Wimbledon’s league posistion then and number of points adrift, the team has become galvanised and more solid defensively, moving away from a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 formation, which is a formation some say is better suited and more flexible for football needs

One look at the current League One table shows, AFC Wimbledon, still bottom of the league, with 33 points and a minus 23 goal difference, while Peterborough United lie 7th with 55 points and a goal difference of plus 6

So given that scenario, the betsters might well be saying that the odds favour Peterborough, who have recently had a managerial change, with Darren Ferguson taking charge from Steve Evans. Darren Ferguson’s teams are usually well organised, efficient and can be hard to break down

But when you compare the current form of both teams, then a very different story emerges

AFC Wimbledon are 7th, with a plus 1 Goal difference and 10 points from a possible 18

Peterborough United are 17th with a minus 3 goal difference and 6 points.

The team news going into tonight’s match is that AFC Wimbledon, have a fully fit squad, which will bear some resemblance to the last match against Doncaster, to choose from, as well as potential returnees from injury in the shape of Kwesi Appiah ( who has also earned a call up to Ghana’s squad for the Africa cup of nations) Dylan Connolly and quite possibly the experienced Rod McDonald

Wally Downe’s has stressed before he is loath to change a winning team unless he has to, so these guys will be useful additions to have on the bench, if required

Peterborough could hand a recall to striker Ivan Toney, who was available after suspension, but only made the bench for their previous match, but they are without, both Siriki Dembele and Josh Knight who are injured.

The stats also make further interesting reading when you consider

Each of the two meetings between AFC Wimbledon and Peterborough at Kingsmeadow have ended level – drawing 2-2 last season & while that result wouldn’t be a disaster for AFC Wimbledon, it would be a set back for sure as a win puts them right back in the mix to stay up

Peterborough are unbeaten in their last four games against Wimbledon (W1 D3) since a 1-0 loss at home in October 2016.

AFC Wimbledon boss Wally Downes, while in charge of Brentford,  has never beaten Peterborough  losing three and drawing two of five meetings in all competitions between September 2002 and January 2004.

However Wimbledon are a unique history making club, with excellent firsts, so that record could well change tonight

Perhaps the most interesting stat of all is this though Under Darren Ferguson, Peterborough have lost eight of their last nine matches played on a Tuesday in all competitions, drawing the other 2-2 with Bristol Rovers in January.

Either way, it promises to be a good match, which kicks off at 7.45pm