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Friday 15 June 2012
What's happening at Kingsmeadow, 2012 - number 1

Preparations for 2012/13 have stepped up a gear this week with new signings completed and the draw for the Capital One Cup handing us a trip to Stevenage. With the league fixtures out on Monday and plenty going on at AFC Wimbledon, we thought it was a good time to bring you up to date with what's been happening at the club.

Football

Terry has been on a well-earned week long break and will be back on Monday. Negotiations with prospective new signings continue though, with Simon and Stuart in regular contact. The management team are concentrating on strengthening our defence at present, with particular emphasis on bringing in centre halves and a left back. While we appreciate fans will be hankering after news, the club has to remain patient as we need to secure the right players, at the right price.

Negotiations also continue with current AFC Wimbledon players that we have taken up an option on. We are also really pleased to see several ex-Dons find good clubs to go to, and wish them the best of luck at their new clubs.

The first team squad came in recently for a baseline fitness test, and will return on Tuesday for a mid-summer ‘MOT’ ahead of the start of pre-season training. This will include a review with Mike Rayner, head physio and Jason Moriarty, fitness coach.

Away from playing matters, the pitch has been re-seeded and is in good condition ahead of the first pre-season friendly next month. The announcement of a fixture at Maidenhead on Tuesday 17 July has completed our pre-season programme. The remaining fixtures can be viewed in the ‘Matches’ section of this website, with ticket details to be announced for some of the games shortly.

Stadium

Work continues on the new Kingston Road End (KRE). Much of the progress to date has been preparatory work, so there is not a huge amount of visible progress. For example, and appropriately given the recent weather conditions, the drainage was completed this week. The piling is also finished and next week the concrete slab on which the stand will sit will be laid.

Meanwhile the metal for the stand is being fabricated and it will be erected in July. The project plans show that the stand will be completed on 17 August. Eagle-eyed readers will have noted that this is one day before the start of the 2012/13 season – the schedule is very tight but the contractors report that they are on target to meet the completion date.

Meanwhile, meetings continue to look at the options for the East Stand and work is underway collating the feedback so far from the consultation on the stadium issues. Our search for a new stadium also continues, and the club has appointed an advisor to enable us to assess progress to date and to speed up the process as quickly as possible.

Elsewhere the stadium work weekends start this Saturday and Sunday. All volunteers are welcome, you just need to turn up from 10.00 am on either day (or both!) if you want to help. If you have any appropriate tools then please bring them along too, there is plenty of work to do! We are also delighted to see Mark Robinson is bringing some of his Academy players to help out, which is a great idea and will provide a welcome youthful energy boost to proceedings!

In addition to the new stand and the work weekends, the club won £20,000 from the nPower fanpower stadium noise challenge, thanks to the fantastic effort of our fans. This money is to be used for capital items, and we would encourage fans to vote from the available options. Please note that only those with a Facebook profile can participate, as this is where nPower is hosting the vote. To vote, click here. Voting closes at midnight on Sunday, 17 June.

New website

Club staff are being introduced to the new FLi website via a ‘webinar’ shortly. We will soon have access to our site to prepare it and tailor it ahead of the go-live date of mid-July. Watch the official website for more updates as we move closer to the launch.

Club

As already reported elsewhere on the club’s website, Season Ticket sales continue to be very strong. Earlier this week we had sold over 2,500, which is roughly the same as this time last season. Approximately 6% of the applicants this season did not have a ST last year.

The nPower Football League fixtures are released on Monday morning. Check the website for details.

Finally, as part of the coalition government’s ‘Big Society’ initiative – four representatives of the club will be attending a reception in Downing Street with Prime Minister David Cameron, as a follow on to the presentation of the award by Sports Minister Hugh Robertson in May. Look out for a report and photos on this website.

We hope fans are having a restful summer. And remember, the first pre-season friendly is in only 30 days time!