Sunday 15 July 2007
Dons’ fans meet their manager
On Friday night, the new AFC Wimbledon management team held their first question and answer session with the club’s supporters at the Fans’ Stadium - Kingsmeadow.
The Dons commercial director Ivor Heller started the evening’s proceedings by introducing Terry Brown and Stuart Cash to a hero’s welcome.
The event attracted between 250 and 300 people, with questions asked both in person and via e-mail, sent in advance of the meeting. Supporters asked many questions, often with humour, primarily about the club’s performance within the transfer market, youth policy and playing style.
Terry Brown responded by talking about his signings, who were designed to build a stronger team to get us out of the Ryman Premier League. He also talked about his longer term aspiration of working with Nigel Higgs to develop the club’s youth policy and bringing young players through into the team. He answered the expected question about a target man by getting Stuart Cash to list the players they’ve targeted without success and said he is still looking for a target man before the Ryman Premier League campaign begins.
One supporter stated that he wanted to "see the team being a lot more violent on the pitch". Terry said that was perhaps a bit strong but he concurred that the Ryman League is very physical and the players are going to have to battle very hard in order to win promotion.
New signing Jake Leberl was unveiled to a great reception and stepped up to answer a few questions. Jake, who is a local and lifelong Dons’ fan, showed off his old Wimbledon replica shirts from when he was a child. The former Dagenham and Redbridge player believed that joining AFC Wimbledon was a "dream come true" and that he wants to be the new Vinnie Jones and wear the famous number four jersey.
After a brief interval, the management duo continued to speak about their strategies and ambitions for the future. Terry explained that promotion is the number one priority, but the cup competitions are very important as well and can be very lucrative for the club. Both managers praised the board’s significant investment in the club’s future. Terry and Stuart were particularly pleased with the squad’s new training facility in New Malden and the newly-laid pitch at Kingsmeadow.
After a very successful evening, Ivor Heller said that "the event had a wonderful turnout and atmosphere. It was a great response from the fans and the management duo. Everyone involved is more positive about the club than for a long time and we look forward to a tremendous season".
A transcript of the event will follow later.