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Monday 01 November 2010
Catching up with Paul Lorraine

As part of the build up to the FA cup tie against Ebbsfleet we talked to former skipper Paul Lorraine, to catch up with him on what he has been doing since he left Wimbledon in the close season and to look ahead to Saturday’s game.

We hear you are studying for a degree. Tell us more about it

“Yes, I’m just finishing a BA Honours in PE at Greenwich University. I started when I was playing semi-pro five years ago and I let it lie while I was full time but my results were good enough that they agreed to let me finish it.

"At my age, I think it’s the right thing to be doing and after a further year completing a Post Graduate Certificate, where I’ll get lots of teaching practice, I will probably become a secondary school teacher.”

“You’ve had a son recently?”

“Yes, Ellis is now about six months old and he’s the best thing that has happened to me."

And now you are at Ebbsfleet. How did you come to join them?

"The manager, Liam Daish, had tried to sign me before and so it seemed a natural thing to do. And the university campus is only ten minutes away so it makes it easy to study and train.

"Liam has really been good to play for. He is a fellow centre half with a good pedigree in the game and he’s one of the best young managers around. After the problems that hit Ebbsfleet last season he has basically started from scratch again this year. I was only the third player he signed and that was quite late in the close season. "

How is the season going?

"We are looking quite strong after a slow start. We are a young team and we’re developing well."

You’ve not lost away from home this season have you?

"Really? I’ve not looked at the stats. We are doing well and we’ve got a very solid defence. We’ve got some talented players like goalkeeper Preston Edwards who was back up for the England C team recently and we work well as a unit."

Tell us about the team – Derek Duncan and you are former Dons

"Yes, Derek has had a couple of run outs at left midfield but he has now settled back in at left back and he is playing really well. He got a fifth yellow card of the season on Saturday, so we aren’t sure if that means he’ll miss the game. We think he’ll be OK, but I’m not sure.

"The goals have mainly come from Calum Willock, who played for you in a pre-season last year, and Michael West. Calum is a real handful who scores goals but also works hard for the team. Michael is an attacking midfielder, another young player who came up through the ranks, and he will be a threat.

"As I said, we started slowly but we’re getting stronger. We are a young team and we will get better."

How do you feel about Saturday’s game and returning to Kingsmeadow?

"I am really looking forward to it. It will be a good game and obviously you’ll be favourites as you’ve pushed on from last season, but we’ll give it our best effort. You never know in football."

And how do you feel about returning to Wimbledon after the club released you last summer?”

"It hurt when I was released but it wasn’t a surprise as I’d not been in great form. I’d been playing with an injury and not training fully since about Christmas. Mike Rayner, who is an excellent physio, said I had the signs of a problem called ‘Gilmore’s groin’. I had it looked at in the summer and it turned out I had a grade 5 tear - the surgeon said he was surprised I’d been able to play.

"I had a double operation and now I feel I’m a renewed player with a new lease of life. But I’m not using my injury as an excuse and in fact I think that, overall, everything has turned out well. I’m very happy and think that, at my age, everything has worked out for the best for me.

"The fans were always very good to me. Please tell them that I have very happy memories of Wimbledon. I always look out for the team's results. And the staff there are really lovely people. As soon as the draw was announced I got a text saying they were looking forward to seeing me again and that epitomises the club for me."

If you win, who would you like in the next round?

"I’m not sure about the next round but I know our chairman keeps saying he wants Arsenal away at the Emirates in the third round. So we’ll be trying to give him that."