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Friday 31 January 2003
club news
Junior Dons matchday academy postponed.

THE Junior Dons matchday academy due to take place before the Raynes Park Vale match has been cancelled in the interests of safety (due to the athletics stadium playing surface being frozen). It will resume before the next Saturday home game against Westfield on Saturday 8 February.


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Friday 31 January 2003
first team news
Match preview.

MIDFIELDER Gavin Bolger says he is looking forward to the derby match against Raynes Park Vale:

"It's going to be a great day. We're expecting a big crowd. They are on a decent run and we need to rediscover some form. It's all the ingredients for a good encounter. I actually live in Raynes Park and they play just behind where I live, but I don't really come into much contact with their players and the build up has really passed me by. I am sure there has been some sort of build up locally, but I just haven't heard it. For Dons fans it's certainly a big game."

"It's also about time I got back among the goals. I haven't scored for ages and I like to get six or seven goals a season and I'm well behind that at the moment. Hopefully I can get one Saturday."

Lee Sidwell is pleased to return to the squad:

"I've been desperate to play especially after the last couple of games. I've been pushing to get back in for Saturday and I just can't wait to get back out there. I was gutted on Wednesday. I really wanted to do well in the London Senior Cup, after all the comebacks and battles we've had to go out like that was really disappointing. A lot of people just didn't seem to have the heart. We need to change things round and we need to do it quickly, especially if we want to secure second place. It's a big game."

Tony Readings had a farewell message for the supporters as he prepared for his departure to join New Zealand side North Shore United AFC:

"I want to leave everyone in no doubt that I loved my time at AFC Wimbledon. I want to thank all the fans for their support and for them the club deserves promotion. There is no doubt that AFC Wimbledon has been the highlight of my footballing career so far. It was an honour to lead AFC out for their first-ever game. Nobody can take that away for me. But the chance to go to New Zealand on a professional contract was a one-off opportunity. I was recommended by a friend. The manager hadn't even seen me play. But they heard I was playing for AFC Wimbledon and, with the recommendation, that was enough to sign me. I've spoken to their manager and they have sorted out accommodation already. It's all happened so quickly, I knew nothing about it even a week ago."

"I wanted to say goodbye to everyone on Saturday, but I'm flying out on Sunday and have got so much to organise. Come 3pm my heart and mind will be at AFC. The club is special to me and so are the fans. So best of luck to everyone. Come on you Dons!"



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Friday 31 January 2003
first team news
Squad announced.

TERRY Eames has named the following squad to face Raynes Park Vale:

Glyn Shimell, Steve Lawson, Keith Ward, Danny Oakins, Sean Daly, Mark Nicholas, Gavin Bolger, Lee Passmore, Noel Frankum, Lee Sidwell, Andy Sullivan, Gareth Graham, Kevin Cooper, Matthew McDonnell.

The two unfamiliar names are players signed today by Terry. Matthew McDonnell is a 32 year-old striker from Marlow Town who has played previously with Kevin Cooper whilst they were both at Wycombe Wanderers. 24 year-old Gareth Graham is a former Northern Ireland U21 international from Whyteleafe whose former clubs include Crystal Palace, Brentford (where he played 16 times), Margate and IVB (Iceland). Gareth plays central midfield.



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Thursday 30 January 2003
first team news
Tony Readings leaves the club.

CENTRE-BACK Tony Readings has left AFC Wimbledon to pursue a professional career in New Zealand. Tony, who flies out to New Zealand this Sunday, was one of the players that had been with the club since the trials and played many games as captain.

All at AFC Wimbledon wish Tony success and thank him for his contribution whilst at the club.



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Thursday 30 January 2003
first team news
Match reaction.

TERRY Eames was bitterly disappointed with the defeat against Barkingside in the London Senior Cup:

"It wasn't good at all, we were very poor in a lot of areas. We were playing against a poor side and we lost 3-0, it just shows what we are about. We need to raise ourselves, because confidence is very low in the dressing room tonight and we have got to generate something for Saturday, which is very important. This was a big game for us and we never showed anything and we are very disappointed. There wasn't a good player out there. All I can say at the moment is that I have done my shouting at them, done my hollering in the past. Today, we need to just get their confidence up. The crowd have been fantastic today to put up with that, they could have shouted the odds at us. I think we have just got to look at it now and change this."

"We lost our way completely in the second half. Even in the first half our first touch was terrible. We could have created stuff but the first touch is important if we want to do that. They were just humping it down the pitch and had quick people to run on to it. We never did anything in the second half, we never created anything and we never looked like doing so."

Andy Sullivan said the players were keen to put the disappointing loss behind them:

"We sat in the dressing room and tried to positive. Terry told us that we all knew where we went wrong. If we'd taken our chances in the first-half, perhaps it would have been a different game. I think Hartley Wintney was still on our minds and we let the pressure get to us. Our chins just dropped when they scored, that's not an excuse, it's just what happened. But it's gone now and we won't dwell on it. We're concentrating for Saturday already. We've been sporadic lately - now we've got to dig deep, come together as one and find our character again. We'll get the three points for the fans on Saturday and get our pride back."

Player-coach Neil Robson was philosophical:

"Basically we played with a lack of confidence after a poor performance on Saturday. But you will have bad days over a season and I don't think that many of us will have days that bad again. Truly there was no one thing wrong - we thought we'd addressed the problems from Saturday's defeat and in the first half we had some good chances. The second half just went from bad to worse and the Barkingside second was a great goal that just killed us - it was a once in a lifetime effort. Confidence is the key - hopefully we'll get it back for Saturday. Terry tried to get everyone's heads up, get the enjoyment back - no-one enjoys playing in a game like that. We reminded the boys that we came from nothing and we've only lost seven games all season."

There was good news on the injury front, with John Harris confident that Shimell and Lawson will recover from knocks sustained during the game before Saturday and Simon Bassey, Sean Daly and Mark Nicholas all expected to be available for selection as well.



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Wednesday 29 January 2003
first team news
Squad announced.

TERRY Eames has named the following squad to face Barkingside in the London Senior Cup:

Glyn Shimell, Steve Lawson, Sim Johnston, Tony Readings, Keith Ward, Danny Oakins, Simon Bassey, Gavin Bolger, Neil Robson, Lee Passmore, Noel Frankum, Andy Sullivan, Robbie Burns, Ben Garner, Kevin Cooper, Chris Theodore.



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Wednesday 29 January 2003
first team news
Match preview.

STRIKER Kevin Cooper is looking ahead to the London Senior Cup game against Barkingside at Kingsmeadow tonight:

"I felt we let everyone down on Saturday. Terry Eames, Nicky English and all the fans. I was personally really annoyed. I just felt we were waiting for
something to happen and that was frustrating. We only started to play when we were 2-0 down, we just left it too late. We need to get back to playing like we did against Godalming & Guildford. I'm really up for the tie against Barkingside. After Saturday, the match can't come soon enough. We want to get it out of our system and play some good football and get some confidence back before we take on Raynes Park Vale.

This cup means a hell of a lot to me. We're unbeaten in it for 25-odd years and I don't want to lose that record. This is the cup we want to win.
There's been some talk of changing the forward line. I'm not sure exactly what Terry plans, but there's a chance Danny Oakins may be playing up front. I played there with Danny once before against Farnham, I wasn't
fully fit, but you could see he could do a job there and it would be nice to link up with him again. Andy Petty was unlucky on Saturday, the ball just
wouldn't fall from him and he deserves a chance too. So I don't really mind who I play with as long as I'm playing. Personally, I like to have someone to feed off and we really miss Ally for his height and his presence and
the club will benefit when he gets fit again".



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Sunday 26 January 2003
first team news
Match reaction.

Dons Assistant Manager Nicky English said that the team had let the fans down with their 2-0 loss to Hartley Wintney:

"I am disappointed, and I know Terry is, because we don't feel that the commitment was given in the first 20 minutes. We were very unlucky with some of the chances, and it seemed like fate, but you can't give someone a 10 yard start in a race and think you are going to beat them over 30. This is something that we have got to sort out quickly. We have got to get a bit more spirit in the side because we feel that the supporters are so good - they are absolutely unbelievable - and we deserved to give them more. We have got to make sure that we do that, whether it means brining in new players from a better standard or whatever. These supporters have got to be treated like they treat us. It is hard to give bright points when we have lost two-nil and I just don't think that the big players have performed well enough. The players we know can play well didn't."

Keith Ward:

"It was disappointing. We gave them two absolute gifts of goals and they had one corner in the whole game and just three shots, compared to our twenty or thirty. Our finishing was poor today and I thought we played them off the park in the second half, but we have got to start burying chances and killing sides off and we are not doing that. I thought their keeper played well and didn't drop anything all day, but it was down to our bad finishing. We gave them the first goal with a bad back pass. That was their only chance in the first half. In the second half they had one ball in the box, their player mis-kicked it and it bobbled in. To lose 2-0 is gutting considering the amount of pressure we put on them in the second half. We have a big game on Wednesday night. We will be training on Monday and working on a few things and hopefully we can get it right."




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Friday 24 January 2003
first team news
Match preview.

CENTRAL defender Tony Readings is looking forward to the match against Hartley Wintney:

"They've been on a good run of late, and have also beaten Ash. They will be after revenge as we beat them quite comfortably earlier on in the season. I didn't play that day, but it was the sort of defeat they will want to get out of their system.

For us what would be nice is if we can go a goal ahead for a change, it'll be better on my heart to start with! Maybe we can then start playing our
football. But the key is to start off well.

Steve Lawson has come in and although it's early days, I can see a lot of good coming out of it. He's a talker and that's helping organise the back four. Now if we can just keep the same sort of back four for a few weeks, then I think you'll all start to see the benefit.

Steve's also well disciplined and while a lot of us like to get forward, he's making sure we don't get overloaded at the back. We did alright before, but maybe we had too many attack-minded defenders. As a team we have become more settled and Terry has strengthened in the right areas. It's up to us now to perform and to keep winning."



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Friday 24 January 2003
first team news
Squad announced.

TERRY Eames has name the following squad for the away match against Hartley Wintney:

Glyn Shimell, Keith Ward, Steve Lawson, Tony Readings, Danny Oakins, Lee Passmore, Noel Frankum, Mark Nicholas, Gavin Bolger, Andy Sullivan, Ben Garner, Neil Robson, Andrew Petty, Kevin Cooper.

A name unfamiliar to supporters will be Ben Garner. Ben is a young attacking midfielder who was signed a few weeks ago from Chipstead and has been playing at Netherne, where he has impressed.



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Friday 24 January 2003
first team news
Travel info for Hartley Wintney.

SUPPORTERS traveling to the game at Hartley Wintney are advised that there are expected train travel difficulties.

South West trains to Winchfield (nearest station to Hartley Wintney) are delayed Saturday due to engineering. There is one train an hour from Waterloo at
10 minutes past each hour, stopping at Clapham Junction at 17 minutes past. This train arrives to Winchfield at 6 minutes past the next hour (56 mins from Waterloo).

At Winchfield Station there will be a bus to take supporters to the ground. The cost is 2 and has been organised by Big Geoff at Hartley Wintney.

Return trains at leave Winchfield at 38 minutes past each hour.

Match tickets:
For those without tickets on Saturday, entrance is restricted to AFC Wimbledon season ticket holders and Dons Trust members, and their bona fide guests. Please ensure that anyone you buy tickets for is a genuine AFC Wimbledon supporter known to you. Thanks for your co-operation.



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Thursday 23 January 2003
first team news
Match reaction.

DIRECTOR of Football Terry Eames believes that in cup games it is the result that matters and is in confident mood that the team can progress further in The Cherry Red Books Trophy:

"We have got a result and gone through to the next round. Cup games are all about this. It was windy and the pitch was a nightmare and if you get a result out of it then you should be happy. We could have gone up another two or three gears but at the end of the day we got a result. I thought it would be closer but for the last 35 minutes we were down to ten men."

"This is a real chance of silverware. For our first season, if we come away with something then great. It is a real possibility, I wouldn't be doing it otherwise. We have a good squad and I expect a lot from them."

The one downside for Terry was the injuries that the side suffered:

"We are down to two strikers for at least a couple of weeks, which is a shame. But both are in confident mood."

Two goal hero Andrew Petty said that conditions did not help the team:

"It was tough out there. A really boggy pitch which was hard on the legs. We had to play as best we could. We were trying to play football, but it was hard. I was pleased to get a start and a couple of goals. Although I had enough shots to get a hat-trick, two goals is not bad."

Sub Danny Oakins had a great first touch in the game:

"I was fortunate to get on, but when I did the goalie fumbled it and I got my head to it. It was about time I scored as I have been on a bit of a drought. They made us work hard but conditions were hard and we just had to get on with it."



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Thursday 23 January 2003
first team news
Injury update.

Ally Russell
Ally has sprained the medial collateral ligaments to his right knee. He is unlikely to be available for Saturday's game at Hartley Wintney.

I will be checking Ally tomorrow, Friday, after the swelling has subsided and he will undergo an intense course of treatment next week.

I would say that the match against Westfield on February 8th would be a reasonable target for Ally's comeback.

Lee Sidwell
Lee sprained the lateral ligaments of his left ankle early in the game against Frenford. He tried to "run it off" but left the field after half an hour. Clearly it is not so serious but Lee looks likely to miss his first game of the season on Saturday. He will undergo intense treatment during next week and we will assess the situation on Friday 31st January.

Simon Bassey
Simon has been sent to the club's consultant for an opinion on a recurring knee problem.

Sean Daly
Sean came off during the game against Godalming & Guildford when he felt a tweak in his right hamstring. He has responded well to treatment and may well be available for Saturday's visit to Hartley Wintney.

Player's Treatment

Supporters of AFC Wimbledon would have noticed that when players have been injured and appear to be all right they have not been included in the team, but have made the sub's bench, and they must wonder why this is so.

Terry Eames has built a good squad of players at the club and there is quality in all positions. Most importantly the squad has depth.

Therefore, we can overcome problems such as a number of injuries as listed above. Terry and I will not rush players back until they are fully fit. The necessity to do so isn't there and player's long term fitness will not be risked.

John Harris
Sports Therapist
AFC Wimbledon


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Wednesday 22 January 2003
first team news
Match preview.

NEW signing Steve Lawson looks ahead to tonight's match against Frenford Senior and reflects on the whirlwind start to his AFC Wimbledon career:

"I am down to play in tonight's game and I am looking forward to it. I enjoyed Saturday. It was fairly nerve-wracking playing in front of such a big crowd, but it's something I want to get used to. And I'm already looking forward to playing many more games for the club.

I was surprised as anyone to be named captain on my debut. I have had the captaincy at many of the clubs I have been at before so it was not a new role for me.

Terry's brought me down to help organise the back four and with it the rest of the team and that's part of the role being captain. But it was still a surprise for me, but it was a nice surprise.

As for tonight, I don't really know much about Frenford, but taking one look at the quality of squad we have here, we have got to be looking to win every game."



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Wednesday 22 January 2003
club news
Statement from the Chairman.

"A short while ago, after the Chessington United home match, Tudor Jennings sent an open letter to the club, on the subject of merchandise in general and the half-season "roundup" video in particular.

Having discussed the situation at length with Tudor in person a number of times, it seems clear that there were a number of misunderstandings and a lack of effective communication in both directions which created a situation in which both Tudor and the club felt uncomfortable with what was happening. The statement on the official site from the club lacked an understanding of the true position and was open to misinterpretation.

Tudor and I now understand each other and have resolved to ensure that a similar situation does not arise in the future.

On the subject of the full match videos, these have been produced and sold since August and this will continue at least for the remainder of this season. Produced under authorisation of the Dons Trust, both the Trust and AFC Wimbledon are fully aware of their sale and of the costs and the distribution of the proceeds and are happy for the videos to be sold on matchdays at Kingsmeadow, from the Wombulance and from the "Wombulance online" website.

The half-season roundup video was a limited edition run (now sold out) solely for the Christmas market and will not be re-produced. AFC Wimbledon will be releasing a "story so far" DVD in February, taking things up to the end of 2002 and including behind-the-scenes and pre-season footage as well as action and goals from home and away matches from August to December.

The profits from sales of the full match videos will continue to go to the Dons Trust, providing funds which will assist AFC Wimbledon and The Dons Trust in reaching our shared goals."

Kris Stewart
Chairman
AFC Wimbledon



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Tuesday 21 January 2003
first team news
Passmore handed suspension.

MIDFIELDER Lee Passmore has been banned for 7 days after collecting 5 bookings this season. Lee will be suspended between 17/03/03 and 23/03/03 and will miss the games away to Bedfont and North Greenford United.


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Monday 20 January 2003
first team news
Hartley Wintney away ticket info.

THE match away to Hartley Wintney has been declared all-ticket.

However, AFC Wimbledon season ticket holders and Dons Trust members WILL be able to pay on the gate - a list of all ST holders and Dons Trust members will be at the game.

For those supporters that are not ST holders or Dons Trust members - tickets WILL be available at the away match against Frenford Senior on Wednesday 22 January 2003.



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Monday 20 January 2003
first team news
Match reaction.

TERRY Eames was very pleased with the style of play in the win over Godalming and Guildford:

"They were a very good, very organised side, but we did ever so well. We gave a silly goal away but it gave us a kick start and from then on we looked quite comfortable. When we got the ball we played it and made the game look simple. Some of the little passing movements were the best I have seen from us. Coops was sharp up front and Ali was a great ally for him because he won a lot of balls in the air and took people away. We deserved more and if we had taken all our chances in the second half we would have made it look comfortable."

The AFC Wimbledon Director of football also indicated that he had not necessarily finished bringing new players to the team:

"I am looking to finish as high as I can. If it means me getting better players, then I will go and get better players, this is not the end of it. People have got to realise that the days of having it easy and perhaps figuring in our plans may have gone because they have not shown it recently. The boys who have come in have done ever so well for us and it needed that little injection. It may have kicked a few boys up the backside. We went to Haywards Heath on Wednesday and I played two different sides, that is how much competition we have. We have such a good squad that people have to fight for their places and I will not take prisoners now. These are important times for the club, but there are a lot of things there for the team still to do."

Kevin Cooper gave credit to the defence for making sure that his two goals were enough to win the game:

"Coming into it we knew it was going to be a hard game. They had won ten on the trot and beaten Ash away which takes some doing. We knew it was going to be hard, especially with players missing, and we had to be at our best. I thought that today we played some superb football against a good side. I was glad to get the two goals to win the game. Although we let in a goal early, I didn't feel we defended that badly. The punished us for one little mistake. The most important thing was to get back into the game early and I was glad to score that goal. The second one I cut inside and beat the defender and it just caught him on the back of his heel. Then it fell for me again and I saw an opening and went for it. It was a bit of a relief as there was only a minute to go to half time. We perhaps should have scored more and we had a few chances in the second half but it showed how well we defended. I think the new guys did very well indeed."

New boy Noel Frankum enjoyed his first game for the club:

"I thought it was amazing. I was quite nervous at the start, but once I got into it it was amazing and the fans were brilliant. Clearly Coops stood out for me and he has great feet, but I was surprised at the standard of all the players. I have come from a couple of levels up but I don't think there is much difference. I came down here because I had a bit of a fallout with the new manager at Tooting. Simon Bassey is one of my best mates and he said why not come down. I had heard a lot about AFC Wimbledon and was at Wimbledon as a kid so I have always had fond feelings for the club. I thought I would give it a go, hoping that we are going to go up. But I have played one game and I love it down here."



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Monday 20 January 2003
club news
Another Don drops in.

FOLLOWING visits from former players Jason Euell, Neal Ardley as well as non-league greats such as Dickie Guy, yet another ex-Dons hero was spotted at Kingsmeadow this . John Scales was a special guest at Saturday's match against Godalming and Guildford and was impressed by what he saw:

"It was a very good game. They started a bit shakily and conceded the first goal, but it was very impressive. Kevin Cooper did ever so well and won the game for the team. Lee Sidwell and Neil Robson also stood out for me and the two central defenders were under quite a bit of pressure in the second half and did well. Overall I was very impressed.

The set up here reminds me of Plough Lane days. There are so many faces here today who take me back to when I first started at Wimbledon. It is a really relaxed atmosphere where you can have a drink with everybody. The intimacy of the place, the noise and the vocal support is fantastic and reminds me a lot of Plough Lane. It is obviously a huge credit to everybody who is involved in it. It was fantastic to be able to be part of it today and I hope to come again. I spent seven years in Wimbledon, in the village and it is nice to come back to this area.

At the moment, I am involved in a grassroots football initiative called BeSport.com and we work with big brands in encouraging kids to play more sport in schools which we have launched with Playstation and LG Electronics."




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Friday 17 January 2003
club news
Open meeting.

FOR the pre-match open meeting tomorrow in the back bar, doors will open at 11:45 and the meeting itself will start at 12 noon sharp.

There will be some chairs set out for those who have difficulty in standing for long periods. Please respect this and do not use them if there are people less able to stand than you.

We are expecting a high turnout for this meeting and cannot guarantee that everyone who wants to get into the back bar will be able to. The sound from the meeting will be relayed into the main bar. We will endeavour to cover everything that people want to talk about, but you will have the opportunity to submit questions in writing at the end of the meeting should we not have time to cover your particular subject fully. Answers to these questions will be published as widely as possible. A report of the meeting will be published here on the official site.

The meeting will finish promptly at 2 PM.

In order to give our volunteer stewards and turnstile operators the chance to attend the meeting, the turnstiles will not be opened until the meeting has finished.



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Friday 17 January 2003
club news
Match preview.

AHEAD of tomorrow's match with Godalming & Guildford midfielder Gavin Bolger revealed he is looking forward to getting back into action.

"We had a practice match on Wednesday and that went well, but I think everyone just wants to get back playing again. Godalming & Guildford have been playing really well of late. I think they have won their last 10 or something, so it's going to be tough. But these are the sort of games we need to prove ourselves in and it will be good to get back into it. We have been on a bit of a stop-start run recently and we need to get ourselves back on a roll again. It's no good giving two goals away like we have been doing, we need to concentrate from the start like we did against Walton a few weeks back. Then we were quick out of the blocks, got a few early goals and were able to play our own game. That's what we need to be doing week in week out."

Meanwhile, for Andy Sullivan the wait to return goes on. He is suspended and will miss the match, after picking up five yellow cards.

"The weather has been really frustrating for everyone and it's worse for me as I'm missing Saturday's game because of suspension, which just prolongs the agony. I've been really eager to get back playing. In the last few games I didn't get much of the ball - through no fault of the team - but I had a word with Terry and there were a couple of things we wanted to try out. It's a shame it won't be on Saturday. I wish I was playing, but I'll be down there anyway cheering the guys on."



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Thursday 16 January 2003
club news
Cup fixtures announced.

TWO cup fixtures have been confirmed as follows:

The Cherry Red Books Trophy
The Cherry Red Books Trophy match away to Frenford Senior will take place on Wednesday 22 January, KO 7:30pm. This match takes place at Ilford FC, Cricklefield Stadium, High Road, Ilford, IG3 8EU.

Entrance fee of 5 and 2 for concessions (pay on the gate).

London Senior Cup
The postponed London Senior Cup match at home to Barkingside will now take place at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday 29 January, KO 7:45pm.



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Thursday 16 January 2003
first team news
Two new signings.

FOLLOWING hot on the heels of Noel Frankum signing from Tooting & Mitcham Dons' director of football Terry Eames has wasted no time in making two more additions to the AFC Wimbledon ranks. Centre-back Steve Lawson has joined from Tooting & Mitcham and left-back Stuart May has joined from Carshalton Athletic.

30 year old Steve Lawson made 50 appearances last season for Tooting & Mitcham and has started 21 games for them this season. His former clubs include Croydon, Carshalton Athletic and Leatherhead.

Stuart May is a 24 year old who at Wimbledon FC between the age of 11 and 16 before moving to carshalton Athletic. As an added bonus Stuart is also a Dons fan and he was one of the 4,142 paying punters at Kingsmeadow to see AFC Wimbledon's first home game this season.

Meanwhile full-back Danny Roberts has been released. AFC Wimbledon wish Danny all the best for the future and thank him for the contribution he made to the club whilst he was here.



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Tuesday 14 January 2003
dons trust news
Dons Trust board make statement.

THE Dons Trust have issued the following statement:

"As you know, AFC Wimbledon is aiming for promotion into the Ryman League next season. To do this, the club needs a ground at which it has a three-year (or longer) lease. The current arrangement with Kingstonians does not meet this criterion because there are only two years of the lease to run and because Brentford have an option to play there from next season. For this reason, the directors of AFCW, in conjunction with the Dons Trust Board, have been exploring alternative arrangements (including extension of the current lease); given the situation with Kingsmeadow, it would have been negligent not to do this.

Recently, the possibility of a ground share with Tooting and Mitcham has arisen and it is being discussed in detail. Many members of the Trust took the opportunity to visit the ground last Sunday, to see it for themselves and to meet some of the T&M officials.

No decision has been made about where the club will play after this season and we continue to investigate the options. Given the timetable for application to the Ryman League, the club and the Trust hope to be in a position to make a recommendation to members during February.

Therefore, we will be holding a Special General Meeting in February for members to discuss options and, if we are in a position to make a recommendation, to vote on it. Because of the uncertainty about timescales, we are arranging two dates for meetings. The intention is that we will need only one of these dates but the timescales for calling a valid meeting mean that it is wise to give official notice for both at the same time. Nearer the time, we will write to you with details of the venue and timing.

In the meantime, there will be an open meeting for supporters of AFCW on Saturday 18 January at Kingsmeadow. The meeting was called to discuss football matters generally and is not a formal DT meeting. Nonetheless, it seems sensible to use this opportunity and so the AFCW Board will explain the background and the issues in more detail and answer questions. Other Dons Trust Board members will be present to answer questions if needed. At present, we don't know the answers to some of the questions you will ask but we will answer those that we can, subject to one or two areas where a public answer might undermine our negotiating position.

The Dons Trust owns AFC Wimbledon and you own the Dons Trust, so we are coming to explain where we have got to and, most importantly, to listen to your concerns and wishes. Since not all members will be able to attend on Saturday, a short summary of the key points will be published on the DT web site as soon as possible after the meeting. Anyone who does not have internet access can send a SAE to the Dons Trust and we will send a copy of the notes by return of post."



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Tuesday 14 January 2003
first team news
Fixture details announced.

THE match away to Cobham has been rearranged for Saturday 8 March 2003. Ticket information will be announced ASAP.

The match away to Chessington United due to be played on Wednesday 26 February 2003 (a day later than previously arranged) will now take place at Leatherhead FC.



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Monday 13 January 2003
club news
Imperial Fields open day.

A reminder that Tooting and Mitcham and AFC Wimbledon are holding an open day at Tooting and Mitcham's Imperial Fields Stadium on Sunday 12 January commencing at 11.00am until 1pm.

Below is a reproduction of the letter that has been sent to local residents, AFC Wimbledon supporters are welcome to attend this open day as well.

Dear Resident
RE: - IMPERIAL SPORTS GROUND BISHOPSFORD ROAD

You may be aware of the proposed use of the Bishopsford Road Ground to be shared between Tooting and Mitcham United and AFC Wimbledon. To that end, a planning application has been submitted to Merton Council.

Although the Council will carry out the usual consultation process it is our intention to give the local residents the earliest possible opportunity to find out first hand what the proposals will entail and we are, therefore, inviting you to an Open Day, which Tooting & Mitcham United and AFC Wimbledon are holding this coming Sunday 12th January commencing at 11.00am until 1pm.

At this Open Day the plans and other details of the proposals can be inspected and representatives of both Clubs will be present and will be very happy to answer any queries which you may have.

We hope that, in this way, we shall be able to address any reservations and concerns which you might have about the effect of the proposals.

We would also be delighted to show you around the excellent community facilities which already exist in the form of the all weather pitches and to tell you of our plans to provide further facilities for the benefit of the community. This reflects our firm belief that the facilities should not just be for the use of the 2 Football Clubs but should have the widest possible appeal to and use by the whole community.

If you wish to make any comments about the proposals do so by contacting
The Borough Planner, Planning Department, Merton Council, Merton Civic Centre, London Road Morden Surrey SM4 5DX atten Mr O Duyile ref: 02/P2784. We would also be grateful to have your comments.

We very much look forward to seeing you at the Open Day.

Yours sincerely

Tooting & Mitcham United FC / AFC Wimbledon



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Friday 10 January 2003
first team news
Match postponed.

THE match away to Cobham (Saturday 11 January) has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. No new date has been announced yet. The reserve match (Netherne Village away to Bookham has also been postponed).


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Friday 10 January 2003
first team news
Eames to sign player.

TERRY Eames has announced that he is signing Tooting & Mitcham's Noel Frankum.

Frankum, a midfield player, has made 5 appearances (with 12 as substitute) for Tooting this season. His former clubs include Burnley, Carshalton Athletic, Kingstonian and Leatherhead.



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Friday 10 January 2003
club news
Backroom shuffle

DIRECTOR of football Terry Eames has made changes to his backroom staff with an eye on the future of the club, in particular the setting up of a reserve side.

Assistant manager Lee Harwood has joined Glenn "Trigger" Mulcaire at Netherne in order to prepare for next season's reserve set up.

Former Netherne manager Nicky English will now become Terry's assistant manager at AFC Wimbledon.

These changes take immediate effect.



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Wednesday 08 January 2003
first team news
Match postponed.

TONIGHT'S London Senior Cup match against Barkingside has fallen victim to the snow and has been postponed. No new date has been announced as of yet.


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Tuesday 07 January 2003
first team news
Players added to squad.

TERRY Eames has added Sim Johnston and Mark Nicholas to his squad for tomorrow's London Senior Cup match.


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Tuesday 07 January 2003
first team news
Squad announced.

TERRY Eames has named the following squad for the London Senior Cup match against Barkingside at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday 8 January:

Ray Merry, Keith Ward, Tony Readings, Sean Daly, Simon Bassey, Lee Passmore, Lee Sidwell, Neil Robson, Gavin Bolger, Andy Sullivan, Kevin Cooper, Ally Russell, Andrew Petty, Robbie Burns.



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Saturday 04 January 2003
first team news
Dons v Southall.

CLUB secretary Trevor Williams has this morning looked at the pitch. It is wet but it is in much better condition that it was on Boxing Day.

The match referee will be at Kingsmeadow at 1pm to make a final decision, but we expect game to be on.



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Friday 03 January 2003
club news
Question time.

The Dons Trust Finance and Stadium Working Groups would like to collect some information from AFC Wimbledon supporters by way of a survey, and have decided to amalgamate the two exercises into one at tomorrow's match against Southall at Kingsmeadow.

A number of questionnaires will be handed out, concerning travel habits and the willingness of fans to contribute funds towards a stadium. It would be appreciated if as many supporters as possible would complete these forms and hand them in either at the Dons Trust desk in the back bar before the match or to volunteers who will be waiting to collect these in Jack Goodchild Way after the game.



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Friday 03 January 2003
club news


ON Saturday week ?18 January, before the Godalming & Guildford game, an open meeting for supporters is to be held in the back bar at Kingsmeadow.

Doors open at 11:45am and the meeting will start at 12 noon sharp, ending at 2pm. The directors of AFC Wimbledon will be there, to talk about what's happening at the club and to answer any questions supporters might have.

It is intended that these meetings will be a regular feature and the club will hold at least one more before the end of this season.

The directors of AFC Wimbledon hope that as many supporters as possible make it along.



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Wednesday 01 January 2003
club news
New Year message.

AFC Wimbledon would like to wish all our supporters a happy new year.

We went through a lot together in 2002; let's hope that the excellent work we've all done in the last seven months continues to bear fruit this year.

Plans for next season, in conjunction with the Dons Trust, include youth and reserve sides as well as developing women's football and a Football in the Community programme. As with everything we've achieved so far, all of these plans will need a lot of help from you.

Here's to a fantastic year - starting with a win this Saturday in our first match of 2003.



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