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Friday 20 June 2008
What's happening at Kingsmeadow - feature number 6

Pre-season training starts on Monday 30 June, only ten days from now. That week will be quite a shock to the players’ systems if they’ve not been following Mike Rayner’s dietary and exercise advice, since they will be training on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, before setting off for the residential weekend and more intensive work.

With Terry Brown on the second week of his holiday, there has been limited action on signing players. Despite his break, however, he has had preliminary discussions with a striker this week and hopefully these will continue in earnest when he returns next week.

The other football news is that James Pullen had an ankle operation to remove a spur of bone that was giving him significant discomfort. It is early days, but it seems that the operation went well and he has started the recovery period.

Across the club, it has been a quiet week. We had one of the regular progress meetings with the builders and the various professionals who are advising us on the main stand extension. While progress has been good this week, there isn’t much to see as it has mainly been underground, with the concrete piles which will support the new part of the stand being laid. Meanwhile, the scaffolding for the extension of the existing roof has now runs along the whole of the main stand and we await the arrival of the roofing materials.

The other event since last Friday was the Ryman annual ball and dinner, including the awards ceremony. The dinner was a very sociable and enjoyable evening, not least because, after four years in the league, we know a lot of people and have made a good many friends. The award presentations were kept nice and brief, although having two awards to collect perhaps made the time go faster.

The club won the fair play and the best programme awards for the Ryman Premier League, which was gratifying since, as was spelled out in the souvenir programme, it seemed rather odd to be a promoted team which won only two monthly awards, both for goalkeeping, in the entire season. Rather bizarrely, three of the promoted clubs (the teams which won the play offs, but didn’t also come second in the league) received no recognition for their achievement on the night. Let’s hope the league puts this right next year and recognises the promoted teams as well as the runners up.

While much of the evening was spent saying ‘goodbye’ to friends, AFC Wimbledon will continue our association with the league through our membership of the Ryman Youth League.

Finally, in this feature, season ticket applications continue to trickle in - we topped the 1,200 mark this week and are now just under four weeks ahead of where we were at this date last season.