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Friday 18 July 2008
What's happening at Kingsmeadow - feature number 10

It is three weeks until the first league game of the season….

This week has seen lots of football activity, most of it on the pitch, with some disappointing performances for fans who’ve followed the team to the three away friendlies. Tomorrow sees the team taking on Brentford for the Supporters Direct Cup, with only three injuries stopping Terry Brown from selecting from a full squad. These three are Lewis Taylor, who is scheduled to go for a scan on his injured knee on Saturday morning, plus James Pullen and Chris Sullivan, who are recovering well from their respective operations, but still some distance away from being ready for game time.

While mentioning Chris Sullivan, we have decided to go to tribunal regarding his compensation. This will be a new experience for us but we believe that we have a good case to support the offer we made to Braintree and we will make that case as strongly as we can.

Tomorrow allows us to welcome Michael Haswell back to Kingsmeadow. Michael is obviously disappointed that his trial period at Brighton didn’t lead to a contract but he has been very positive about getting back into the swing of AFC Wimbledon and making things happen here, which is good news for the club. We haven’t yet heard formally from Brighton, which is a shame, but we are pleased to see Michael back while, at the same time, sympathising with him.

Meanwhile, the start of football games means that scouts are sniffing around, with three at our games on Tuesday and Wednesday and already two announced for tomorrow – but of course they are at least as likely to be watching Brentford players as ours.

Moving on to the main stand, it felt like a major step forward this week when the fascia was put in place and the club’s sign re-positioned, as shown below.

Getting started.

Piecing it together.

Finished.

With the fascia now complete, the roof extension stand is finished and the scaffolding started to come down today.

The scaffolding starts to come down.

There wasn’t enough time to take it all down but the scaffolders got further than we expected and cleared blocks A - F. This means that there are over 400 seats available tomorrow, although the residual scaffolding means that almost all the seats have a slightly obscured view; it isn’t possible to see the corner flag where the main stand meets the Kingston Road end, as shown below.

The view from Block C.

Now all we need to do is clean the seats, which got very grubby during the work – a job for early on Saturday morning. If anyone wants to help out, just turn up before 10.00 am.

The remaining scaffolding will be removed on Tuesday, except for block K which will not be available for use until all the work is finished in September. This means that season ticket holders in block K and those in the new seats will need to be relocated for a few games. Plans are already in hand for this and we are writing to the ST holders who are affected to explain our plans.

All the concrete for the foundations for the new part of the stand was poured today. During next week the first steel girders will arrive and something above ground will start to appear soon afterwards. Nonetheless, there is long way to go before the seats are ready.

Concrete pouring begins.

All in all it has been a very busy week for the builders, with changes to the dressing room only completed at 5.00 pm today. Before that, new fire alarms had to be fitted and tested and fire doors fitted, to satisfy safety requirements. However, we are now just about ready to welcome Brentford tomorrow.

Elsewhere, David Charles and John Woodruff signed off the souvenir programme, which is 56 pages of A4-sized photos, interviews, reminiscences and reports, taking readers through the season, month-by-month. It arrived today and will be on sale tomorrow, outside the ground. At the same time, David and John were working on the programme for the pre-season friendlies, which was also signed off in good time and delivered today.

In the background, the photos for the season ticket books were signed off and the books are now being printed. A large team of volunteers will start assembling the books and stuffing envelopes next Wednesday, so that fans who wish to do so can collect their ST next Saturday at the Salisbury game. Uncollected books will be posted out during the following week.

One disappointment this week was a delay in the delivery of the new kit which meant delaying the launch. As a result, we decided to postpone the ‘meet the manager’ evening until next Friday, 25 July. If you have any questions, and can’t make it to the meeting, please email them to the club and we will make sure they are dealt with on the evening.

Finally, here’s a couple of photographs of the preparations that show that we are ready:

Raising the bar.

The white lines being laid out.

It all looks great and we can’t wait….. See you tomorrow.