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Monday 28 February 2005
club news
That's the single

If you came to the Corinthian-Casuals match, you may well have seen Everstrong?s live performance in the bar after the game. And you may already be aware that AFC Wimbledon will be making an assault on the top 40. In case you haven?t yet heard, their single ?Take Me Home? will be released on April 11, with all proceeds going to the AFC Wimbledon Ground Fund.

Currently based in Manchester, the five-piece guitar band have been garnering rave reviews on the live circuit for three years. Their debut album, ?Hello Again? was released at the tail end of last year on the Cornish Blue label ? a heartfelt guitar rock album that?s not afraid to wear its influences on its sleeve while bringing a refreshing emotional honesty to the genre. But Everstrong are best known for their blistering live performances ? always concluding with ?Take Me Home?. It does the song a disservice to suggest it is one dimensional, but the original creative spur came as long-standing Wimbledon fan Simon Vaughan railed against the suggestion of his football club being uprooted and moved 70 miles away.

Not only will it be available on general release, every copy sold will also raise money for the Ground Fund as well. And as if that wasn?t enough, it?s a cracking song as well ? our resident rock critic Matt Everard will be bringing you his review soon. Pre-order copies will be available on HMV.co.uk ? check back on this website soon or visit www.everstrong.co.uk for details.

Singer and lyricist Simon Vaughan explains:
?Take Me Home was a song written to be played at the end of our live set. A wall of guitars, with the same verse repeated three times over a blues turnaround. It was penned prior to May 2002 when I was still a Wimbledon FC supporter protesting against the then proposed move to Milton Keynes. The lyrics are simple and reflect what supporting Wimbledon and now AFC Wimbledon has always meant to me: pride, loyalty, and the desire to watch football in Wimbledon.

?We played the track when we performed at the Give & Go night at Kingsmeadow in December, and it was suggested after the gig that we record the song for use by the club on matchdays. Further discussions between us and our record label resulted in the idea to release the track as a single and donate all the proceeds to the Stadium fund. It?s great that we can raise some money for the club ? it was a real buzz to perform after the game and I?m hoping I can be the first person to wear an AFC Wimbledon on Top of the Pops!?

Everstrong are Simon Vaughan on lead vocals, Paul Murphy on drums, Mike Thomas on bass Phil Carr on rhythm guitar and Paul Williams on lead guitar. Still based in Manchester, where they regularly gig in famous live venue Night and Day, the band will be touring the European festival circuit in 2005 after the release of ?Take Me Home?. The album ?Hello Again? is still available on Cornish Blue Music.

Despite being based in Cornwall, Cornish Blue Music Ltd has very strong ties with South West London. CBM is a family-run business - three of the company were born in Wimbledon, and schooled in Kingston. The Company Secretary worked in Wimbledon for the whole of his professional life, and was on the Plough Lane terraces in the days of Division Four matches against Swindon and Halifax. The company added: ?We are very proud of what both Everstrong and AFC Wimbledon stand for in their respective fields, and are glad that we can help raise money by donating all profits of the single to the AFC Wimbledon Stadium Fund."


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Saturday 26 February 2005
first team news
Game On

After an early pitch inspection today, the game against Corinthian Casuals is expected to go ahead as scheduled.


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Friday 25 February 2005
dons trust news
Dons Draw moving on up

The sixth Dons Draw will be held before the match tomorrow at Kingsmeadow and the winners announced as usual at half-time. With all the numbers in and the calculations done, the first prize this month will be increased to £642 with a further three prizes on offer.

And if you have missed this month's draw and want to take part, don't forget the deadline for the March Dons Draw is looming, with entry required by midnight on Monday 28 February. You can either sign-up on line here, or bring along your bank details to the match tomorrow, and fill in an entry form in the back bar at Kingsmeadow.

Best of luck!


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Friday 25 February 2005
club news
DAVID CONN EVENT CANCELLED

Unfortunately the club has just been informed that David Conn will not be able to be at the ground tomorrow. He is deeply apologetic but has been called away for an urgent family commitment.

David is hopeful that the event can be rescheduled for one of our home matches in March. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

It still promises to be a busy day at the ground as the "78" limited edition range of merchandise is launched and Everstrong play live after the match in the main bar (entrance free, see below for details).


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Friday 25 February 2005
club news
Plenty on at the ground tomorrow - with or without football!

Don't forget that renowned football writer David Conn will be a special guest in the back bar tomorrow before the match, talking about his new book 'The Beautiful Game: Searching for the Soul of Football'. And after the game Everstrong will be performing in the main bar. The match is currently expected to be on, but the other entertainment will be on regardless of the state of the pitch, so come on down anyway!

David Conn's book, the eagerly awaited follow-up to his seminal 'The Football Business', traces what's happened to the game over the last seven years by way of revealing stories from several clubs, including a chapter on the struggle against Milton Keynes and the creation of AFC Wimbledon.

David has kindly made 120 copies of the book available to the club at the author's discount price, which means they can be sold cheaper than you'll find in the shops, and £4 from every book sold goes to AFC Wimbledon. He will also be available to sign copies. Read a review here by Dave Boyle.

The talk will start at 1.30pm in the back bar, while Everstrong's live set's will start straight after the Man of the Match presentation in the main bar. Should the game be postponed (and at the moment it seems likely the match will go ahead), then Everstrong will perform at 3pm, after David Conn's talk and book-signing has concluded.

Not only is it an excellent second opportunity to catch this highly-rated band (including their AFC Wimbledon supporting frontman) in action ? there will also be some exciting news announced on the day. So look out in the programme for that, and plan to hang around to catch their set ? you won?t be disappointed.

Everstrong's frontman, and long-standing Dons fan, Simon Vaughan, said: "We loved playing at the first Give and Go night and we're delighted to be back down and playing on a matchday. I don't think a day gets much better than seeing your team play and then doing a gig at the stadium. We're all looking forward to it and hope plenty of people stick around."


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Friday 25 February 2005
first team news
Names for Casuals

Dave Anderson has named the following squad for tomorow's league match against Corinthian-Casuals:

Danny Naisbitt, Paul Smith, Steve Gibson, Mark Cooper, Antony Howard, Steve Butler, Mark Jones, Micky Woolner, Chris Gell, Jon-Barrie Bates, Gareth Graham, Gavin Bolger, Rob Ursell, Martin Randall, Andy Frost, Joe Sheerin, Richard Butler, Leon McDowall, Andrew Martin.

Steve Butler, Mark Cooper and Mark Jones will all have fitness tests.

The manager added:
"Jake Cole is back in training, but QPR have let Chris Day go out on loan, so we're waiting to see if that means they'll want him back in their first team squad or will let him stay down with us. And we've arranged a month's loan for Joe Sheerin at Croydon Athletic, which will start tomorrow if their game is on, or early next week if not. That will give him the games he needs now and get him back to us in time for the last six or so games of the season."

The pitch is currently playable and the club are confident the game will go ahead, pending weather conditions tonight. Please check the website for a further update tomorrow morning.

Dave Anderson said:
"We're all hoping the game is on. Tuesday has been and gone and you could see in training on Thursday how determined the players are to put it behind them with a win. I think the fans would have enjoyed watching the training - we were playing small-sided games in the gym and some of Rob Ursell's tricks were unbelievable!"


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Friday 25 February 2005
club news
Live music tonight - Give & Go Too

Don't forget that Give & Go Too, the second AFC Wimbledon band night, is taking place this Friday at Kingsmeadow. Doors open at 7.30 and tickets are just £6 (available on the door). For your money, you'll get to see two excellent bands - Iain Archer, a London-based Ulsterman and sometime member of Snow Patrol, and, from Cambridge, The Ghears, fronted by Iain's older brother Paul. The Ghears were Snow Patrol's support band on their UK tour late last year.


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Thursday 24 February 2005
u18s news
Under-18s match off

Tonight's Southern Youth League match against Leatherhead has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Kingsmeadow.

The game will be rescheduled as soon as possible.


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Wednesday 23 February 2005
club news
It's a Conn on Saturday

Renowned football writer David Conn will be a special guest in the back bar on Saturday talking about his new book 'The Beautiful Game: Searching for the Soul of Football'

The book, the eagerly awaited follow-up to his seminal 'The Football Business' traces what's happened to the game over the last seven years by way of revealing stories from several clubs, including a chapter on the struggle against Milton Keynes and the creation of AFC Wimbledon.

His chronicling of the truth behind the headlines at clubs such as Exeter City, York Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon have made his column in the Independent the place to find out what's really going on beneath the surface of football, and his support for causes close to fans' hearts won him the Football Supporters' Writer of the Year Award in 2003.

David has kindly made 120 copies of the book available to the club at the author's discount price, which means they can be sold cheaper than you'll find in the shops, and £4 from every book sold goes to AFC Wimbledon. He will also be available to sign copies.

Read a review here by AFC Wimbledon fan Dave Boyle, which appeared in the last edition of the Supporters Direct Newsletter.

The talk will start at 1.30pm in the back bar, with the book signing afterwards. And with Everstrong performing after the match in the main bar, it promises to be an action-packed and enjoyable day.


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Wednesday 23 February 2005
first team news
Let's come back strongly on Saturday, says Anderson

Dave Anderson remained phlegmatic after watching his side turned over by Slough:
?In the Quarter Final of the League Cup we?ve been knocked out by a team from a division above us. We knocked some good sides out on the way, but it wasn?t our night and we were well beaten.

?We came in two-nil up at half-time and I?m not quite sure we were two goals better in the first half. Yet we could have been three-nil up! But even at that stage alarm bells were ringing about what they could do to us. They?re a good side, they?re strong and they?ve got experience. Wilkinson has been around, the two front men are experienced, Harris is a proper Premier player and Carbon had a great game.

?And we had a young side out ? there were seven young players in our side and it was a night when you?d have liked some more experienced heads to be on the pitch. We need to be at our very, very best to play a team from a division above us. That?s not an excuse for losing, but it shows the difference between the two teams.

?The squad we have can compete at the next level up, but we?ve seen just how big the difference between the two divisions is. I?ve got no complaints about the result, but I?ve got complaints about the way we conceded goals. We didn?t make tackles and you have to do that. It?s a criminal offence to concede a goal in the first minute of the second half. After doing so well to be 2-0 up, that meant it was game on straightaway.

?We brought Micky Woolner on and switched to three at the back because we felt going like for like and matching them was the easiest way to try to get back into the game. It wasn?t a case so much of wanting to do it, but when the other side are dictating the game you have to do something to try to change that. I thought that worked fairly well and we were coming back into it until the penalty.?

And the manager ended up with more injury concerns:
?Both Mark Cooper and Mark Jones came off with knocks, so we?ll have to see what happens there. With Jonesy we?re not quite sure what the problem is yet. Cooper nearly came off at half-time, but then got clattered as well, so we hope he?ll be fit for Saturday.

?The pluses are that I thought Gavin Bolger did well again. Richard Butler got through 90 minutes, looked rusty but that?ll do him good, while Micky Woolner came through his first spell in the team for a while. We?re out of the cup and it?s a cup we wanted to win. But now we have an important league game coming up, so we?ll go away and work hard for that. We need to make sure we're back on top of our game on Saturday and take three points against Casuals."

Finally, the management team felt the game provided a yardstick for work over the summer:
?People asked me in the bar if the game taught us anything about what we need for next year. It all honesty, it doesn?t really tell us anything we didn?t already know. It confirmed a lot of things. That was the one thing Warren, Jon and I were saying ? it certainly confirmed to us how much further this squad needs to progress. But we don?t need to get too carried away about next year yet though ? we?ve still got a lot to do this year!?


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Wednesday 23 February 2005
first team news
Ursell named in Ryman League team

Rob Ursell has been named in the squad for the Centenary representative match between the Ryman League XI and an FA XI to be played at Dulwich Hamlet on Monday 7 March. He and Dulwich Hamlet's Ken Beaney are the only two Division One players to be named in the 17-man squad.

Dave Anderson said:
"It's an honour for the club and an honour for Rob. We're very pleased for him. Jack Pearce, who's managing the side, told me he wanted a left-sided player and I know Rob will do well. I hope Rob enjoys the game and comes back injury free."

Rob Ursell added:
"I was delighted to be chosen. I'm looking forward to it and hope to do the club proud."


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Wednesday 23 February 2005
first team news
Suspension announced

Ryan Gray's suspension for being sent off against Croydon will mean he misses the matches against Corinthian-Casuals, Crystal Palace, Molesey and Newport.

Although the ban is only for three league games, players are not allowed to play in other competitions while serving their ban. so he is therefore ineligible for the Surrey Senoir Cup match as well.


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Wednesday 23 February 2005
club news
Commemmorative merchandise launched on Saturday

Merchandise mandarin Tim Hillyer writes:

"To commemorate the achievement on the second anniversary of the first win of the record-breaking run, we are proud to launch the following products:

T-shirt White with 78 retro design in Blue £16 XS/S/M/L/XL/XXL
or
T-shirt Blue with 78 retro design in White £16 XS/S/M/L/XL/XXL

Mug White with the 78 Unbeaten logo £6

Scarf commemorating the unbeaten run £7

Badge recognising the historic event £4

SPECIAL OFFER: Buy one of each save £3 - £30 for the package.

This new range is strictly limited edition.

The shop will be open from midday on Saturday before the Corinthian Casuals match, and from soon after the final whistle to 5.30pm. First come, first served.
Internet sales will start at 6pm and will be dealt with in strict order of arrival."



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Tuesday 22 February 2005
reserve team news
Reserves game tonight is off

Tonight's Suburban League Shield game away to Dover Athletic has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions. The match will be rescheduled as soon as possible.


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Tuesday 22 February 2005
first team news
Tonight's game - no problems expected

At 11.30am today Slough Town were fully confident that tonight's match will go ahead with no problems. There is currently no snow on the pitch and no pitch inspection is planned.

If the weather situations worsens or the situation changes, a further update will be posted, but at the moment the game is most definitely on.


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Tuesday 22 February 2005
first team news
Ready for the Rebels

Dave Anderson has named the following squad for tonight's trip to Windsor to face Slough Town:

Danny Naisbitt, Paul Smith, Steve Gibson, Mark Cooper, Antony Howard, Steve Butler, Mark Jones, Ryan Gray, Chris Gell, Jon-Barrie Bates, Gareth Graham, Gavin Bolger, Rob Ursell, Martin Randall, Andy Frost, Joe Sheerin, Richard Butler, Leon McDowall.

Both Butlers will face fitness tests again.

Dave was pleased overall with Saturday's point:
"I thought it was a hard game and on balance a fair result. We didn't seem to get off the coach until half time and were very poor in the first half. But in the second half the players took on board what we said well. We actually ended up playing with three up front for most of the second half and kept three up there even after we'd equalised, so I don't think you could argue we weren't trying to win it. But looking at their home form, it's hard to be unhappy with a draw.

"There's a bit of debate over whose the goal was. At the time it certainly looked like Cooper's, but Andrew Martin's convinced it should be his. I haven't had time to look at the video yet, but I'll do so at some point. To be honest, it was a Wimbledon goal and that's all I care about!"

And the manager is expecting a very tough challenge ahead tonight:
"Slough are a good side. They're still in the Trophy and we're under no illusions that it will be very difficult for us. But we travel as underdogs and that's quite a nice rare position for us to be in. We know we have to be at our best to stand a chance, but we'll give it everything we've got. If they do win, they'll certainly come off knowing they had to work very hard for it. But I honestly believe we can compete with them and we think we can win."


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Tuesday 22 February 2005
club news
Live music weekend at TFS-KM

Don't forget that Give & Go Too, the second AFC Wimbledon band night, is taking place this Friday at Kingsmeadow. Doors open at 7.30 and tickets are just £6 (available on the night or in advance from the club offices). For your money, you'll get to see two excellent bands - Iain Archer, a London-based Ulsterman and sometime member of Snow Patrol, and, from Cambridge, The Ghears, fronted by Iain's older brother Paul. The Ghears were Snow Patrol's support band on their UK tour late last year.

And that?s not all. It?s a weekend of music at the end of the month here at The Fans? Stadium. Original Give and Go headliners Everstrong are back by popular demand and will be performing in the Main Bar after the match on Saturday 26 February. Not only is it an excellent second opportunity to catch this highly-rated band (including their AFC Wimbledon supporting frontman) in action ? there will also be some exciting news announced on the day. So look out for the Corinthian-Casuals match programme for that, and plan to hang around after the game to catch their set ? you won?t be disappointed.

Everstrong's frontman, and long-standing Dons fan, Simon Vaughan, said: "We loved playing at the first Give and Go night and we're delighted to be back down and playing on a matchday. I don't think a day gets much better than seeing your team play and then doing a gig at the stadium. We're all looking forward to it and hope plenty of people stick around."

The band will be on straight after the Man of the Match presentation in the Main Bar, at about 5.30pm.


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Tuesday 22 February 2005
club news
Next quiz night

The next quiz night at The Fans' Stadium - Kingsmeadow will be on Wednesday 9 March. The nights have proved very popular so far, so come on down and join us. The quiz will start at 8.15pm, with the bar open from 6.30pm. And it being near St Patrick's Day, the quiz will have an Irish theme, with rounds as follows:

Round 1 (Picture round) - The Luck of the Irish.

Round 2 - The Losers Round.

Round 3 - It's an Irish Thing.

Round 4 (Beat the intro) - Made in Ireland.

Round 5 - The Not the Irish Jackpot Round.

As evere it's £1 per person to enter, with a maximum team size of six.


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Friday 18 February 2005
first team news
Dave pleased with Tuesday as he names tomorrow's squad

Dave Anderson has named the following squad for the trip to Hastings tomorrow:

Danny Naisbitt, Paul Smith, Steve Gibson, Mark Cooper, Antony Howard, Steve Butler, Mark Jones, Ryan Gray, Chris Gell, Jon-Barrie Bates, Gareth Graham, Gavin Bolger, Rob Ursell, Martin Randall, Andy Frost, Gary Prigent, Richard Butler, Leon McDowall, Andrew Martin.

Jake Cole was sent for a scan on his finger today and is still ruled out by QPR. Richard Butler and Steve Butler will face a fitness test.

And the manager was pleased with the team's performance and the match on Tuesday:
"It was good and a proper football match I felt. We always felt it would enjoyable to play in and watch and it proved to be like that. It was interesting tactically and our gameplan worked well. It wasn?t a strict 4-3-2-1, it was actually was more of a back three with Jonesy pushed on at times. We knew they?d play with just one up front, so it allowed Jonesy to move on more. We got Ursell inside where we wanted him to be and both the set-up and the way we were played were excellent. We thoroughly deserved the win in a good game off football."

The manager discussed the freedom the changed system gave Rob Ursell:
"Rob?s still only young and he?s still learning how to play in different roles. He loves to play in the hole behind the front two and we love to play him there when we can, but we also know we need to help him learn how to play in a 4-4-2 as well. A player with his ability can play in different positions, so people just need to give him a bit of time and let him take things on board. I think he?s suffered a little bit with confidence of late, and his game?s all about his confidence. We?ve been telling him to concentrate on just doing the simple things well, because we know his ability is there and we know that confidence will return. He took his goal excellently and I was pleased he just hit it and didn?t roll his foot over it!"

But the manager felt the whole team performed well:
?Leon had his best game for us ? that?s the best I?ve seen him play ever in fact. And remember Paul Smith made two great saves when it was still only 1-0. People have hardly noticed Mark Cooper has stepped in to the side, but we?ve looked more solid of late and it?s since he stepped in. So it was a good all-round squad peformance against one of the best teams in the league.?

And Dave wants more of the same tomorrow:
"We?re 12 points clear now with a superior goal difference, so that was a big result for us to open up that gap from our game in hand. There?s 12 games to go, but we haven?t seen the fat lady and she?s certainly not singing yet, so we?ll get on with it. Tomorrow will be another very tough game, but it?s good to be travelling there with six points from our last two matches."


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Thursday 17 February 2005
first team news
Injury update

Mike Rayner writes:
Steve Butler - after recovering from his 'dead-calf' sustained against Leatherhead, and passing a fitness test prior to last night's game, Steve suffered a 'dead-leg' to his thigh within the first ten minutes of Tuesday night's game! We will again have to judge the appropriate treatment period for him, but will know more at training tonight.

Richard Butler - on Saturday against Croydon, Richard aggravated a knock he had taken in training earlier in that week. He failed a fitness test prior to Tuesday night's game, but we await to see how well it responds to treatment this week to see whether he will be available for Saturday against Hastings.

Jay Conroy - the most recent update I have from the doctors is that Jay has suffered severe bruising to his lower leg, torn ligaments on both the outside and inside of his ankle, possibly suffered an avulsion fracture (where the ligament pulls part of bone away), and also possibly fractured a bone in the middle of his foot. He is presently on crutches and in a cast for the next three weeks, while the extensive swelling is allowed to settle. The diagnosis may change still further, as at present, X-rays are inconclusive due to the sheer amount of swelling present. I will update accordingly on this. Jay could be out of action anything from four - 12 months depending on what damage is eventually found. Needless to say, this comes at a bad time as he was in the process looking for trials with a view to contracts next year, and we are all gutted for him.

Micky Woolner - started light jogging work this week, and is in the final phases of rehab. We will be looking for him to re-start training next Thursday, to ensure his hamstring has adequate time to settle after each intensive session that will be upcoming.

Danny Naisbitt - played 45 minutes in the reserves on Monday without reaction to his torn 'kicking muscle'. He will participate in a full training session tonight and then continue to build up match time from there.

Joe Sheerin - played 45 minutes in the reserves on Monday without reaction to his hamstring. Joe has continued to work hard in what has been a difficult period with injuries for him. We are both confident in the area now (especially after his visit to the local chiropractor), and it is now a case of increasing game time. He and I are keeping faith that as long as he keeps working hard (both in his own time, and whilst at the club) then it will not be long before we see Joe back in top condition.


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Wednesday 16 February 2005
club news
Last chance to come to the ball

In their ball gowns galore the AFC Wimbledon Ladies side look forward to your attendance at their Valentines Ball this Friday 18 February. Come down, girls and guys, to the romantic setting of Kingsmeadow from 8pm to late, now with a late bar licence. There'll be plenty of buffet, a disco, late bar and fantastic top prizes including holidays to Turkey and Cyprus and more to be won!

Admission in advance £5, £1 extra for special 'dating badge' and the dress code is smart casual.

Entry is strictly by advanced ticket. Proceeds to Princess Alice Hospice, Cancer Research and the AFC Wimbledon Stadium Fund.


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Tuesday 15 February 2005
dons trust news
A date for your diary

The Dons Trust is pleased to announce that Walk for Wimbledon II, the sponsored walk which was postponed earlier in the season, will be held on the morning of 9th April, prior to the home game against Metropolitan Police FC. Full details will follow later in February but in the meantime please keep your diary clear for what promises to be an important fundraising initiative and an enjoyable occasion.


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Tuesday 15 February 2005
first team news
Squad named for Burgess Hill

Dave Anderson has named the following squad for tonight's game against Burgess Hill:

Danny Naisbitt, Paul Smith, Steve Gibson, Mark Cooper, Antony Howard, Steve Butler, Mark Jones, Ryan Gray, Chris Gell, Jon-Barrie Bates, Gareth Graham, Gavin Bolger, Rob Ursell, Martin Randall, Andy Frost, Gary Prigent, Richard Butler, Leon McDowall, Andrew Martin.

Jake Cole is being rested because of his ongoing finger injury, but ii is hoped he will be cleared by QPR to play on Saturday. Richard Butler will face a fitness test.



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Tuesday 15 February 2005
first team news
Hastings coach spaces going fast

A second fans' coach has been arranged for Saturday's trip to Hastings, but places are filling up fast. Tickets are £13 for adults and £7 for concessions - contact the office as soon as possible to book your seat.


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Monday 14 February 2005
first team news
Jay Conroy update

Mike Rayner had this Sunday update on Jay Conroy's injury after he was carried off on Saturday:
"Currently the swelling in the area is still quite bad, so Jay will be going back to the fracture clinic next week and we'll know more then. He seems to have a cracked bone in his foot, severe bruising to the lower leg and possible ankle ligament damage. We'll have to wait and see how it looks when the swelling settles down, but my initial thoughts and fears are that he will be out for the rest of the season."


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Sunday 13 February 2005
first team news
Dave on three points, but two more injuries

After the win against Croydon, Dave Anderson reflected on three points but more injury headaches:
?Jay Conroy went off to the hospital, but his leg is too swollen to be X-rayed yet, so we?ll have to wait and see and of course we?ll let you know as soon as we do. Richard Butler had picked up a little knock in training and just got kicked on the same part of the foot and couldn?t carry on, but we hope he?ll be back soon. We?ll see how he feels after the weekend, but it?s still a bit sore at the moment.

?Of course that makes the afternoon disappointing. Jay went in for a challenge high up the pitch he probably didn?t need to go in for. And to be fair to the Croydon player, after what I felt was a bit of a late challenge, he called me over as we came off the pitch to say that whilst he went in hard and felt he might have mistimed it slightly, he certainly wasn?t trying to damage the player. He didn?t need to come over and say that, so I respect him for doing so and it?s one of those things that happens in football, sadly.

?And of course making two early changes didn?t help us. In the first half-an-hour we had six good chances. JB could have scored a hat-trick in the first ten minutes! Andrew Martin had a good early chance too, which the keeper saved well and we were comfortably on top. But when you chop and change your side that early it does make things harder for you. What you have to do then is make sure you win the game, and I thought we did that comfortably enough.

?We scored two more good goals. The second was a great goal. Andrew Martin started it on the halfway line with a good touch, there were five or six passes, great delivery into the box from Jonesy and an excellent diving header to cap it off from Andrew. Two minutes later, Leon had almost a carbon copy chance, which went just wide. The third goal was well worked as well. Andrew Martin was involved again, there was a great tackle from Chris Gell, a lovely pass from Rob Ursell and a really good finish from Leon.

?So they were two goals that could grace any football field. But for games like today you?re on a bit of a hiding to nothing. Everyone expected us to win and win comfortably. And those kind of games make you a bit nervous as a manager. But in the end I felt we were comfortable. We didn?t look threatened and we adjusted to the two changes to make sure of the three points.?

Finally the manager gave his view on the first red card of the season:
?I can?t defend Ryan Gray at all. I saw the whole thing in front of the dug-outs. If anyone started the situation, he did. I?m not happy with him ? he knows that. We said we?d have a chat later when we?ve both calmed down. I?m not in this game to have footballers react the way he did. We pride ourselves on our discipline and we must be disciplined. He?ll learn that when I speak to him. I was told when I joined he could be a hothead at times and he showed that today. His sending off was selfish and not team-orientated, and that?s not something you can do.?


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Friday 11 February 2005
club news
Open meeting reminder

The directors of AFC Wimbledon will once again be holding an open meeting for supporters before the game tomorrow. The meeting will run from 12:30 until 2 pm and is open to all.

Subjects to be covered will include proposed ground improvements and how they might be funded, admission prices for next season, language and behaviour around the ground at matches (with particular reference to the recent discussion about the "Champagne Song"), and a proposal concerning the sale of a number of long-term season tickets.

There will also be the opportunity to ask questions of the directors or to raise any other issues of concern or interest to supporters.


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Friday 11 February 2005
first team news
Squad named to face Croydon

Dave Anderson has named the following squad to face Croydon tomorrow:

Jake Cole, Paul Smith, Jay Conroy, Steve Gibson, Mark Cooper, Antony Howard, Steve Butler, Mark Jones, Ryan Gray, Chris Gell, Jon-Barrie Bates, Gareth Graham, Gavin Bolger, Rob Ursell, Martin Randall, Andy Frost, Gary Prigent, Richard Butler, Leon McDowall, Andrew Martin.

The manager added:
"Some of the lads had last Thursday off after a very busy month. But they have all been told that from now on everyone is expected to report to every match - so everyone will be there, including injured and suspended players. That means the squads we name will be full squads.

"We've put ourselves in a good position to do well this season, and now is the time we need to concentrate to do that. The players are all aware of that and we're ready for another busy month of important matches."


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Friday 11 February 2005
club news
Give & Go Too - plus live band after Casuals match

Don't forget that Give & Go Too, the second AFC Wimbledon band night, is taking place in the Main Bar on Friday 25 February. Doors open at 7.30 and tickets are just £6 (available on the night or in advance from the club offices). For your money, you'll get to see two excellent bands - Iain Archer, a London-based Ulsterman and sometime member of Snow Patrol, and, from Cambridge, The Ghears, fronted by Iain's older brother Paul. The Ghears were Snow Patrol's support band on their UK tour late last year. Two further Give & Go nights have also been confirmed: Give & Go Again, on Friday 8 April, will feature the post-rock stylings of Prego and the Buzzcocks-esque DeBooter. Give & Go Forth takes place on Friday 6 May and will feature up and coming indie hopefuls Brigade and melodic metallers The Dopamine Theory. Same prices, same times, same quality bands. AFCW rocks a big one, by all accounts.

And that?s not all. It?s a weekend of music at the end of the month here at The Fans? Stadium. Original Give and Go headliners Everstrong are back by popular demand and will be performing in the Main Bar after the match on Saturday 26 February. Not only is it an excellent second opportunity to catch this highly-rated band (including their AFC Wimbledon supporting frontman) in action ? there will also be some exciting news announced on the day. So look out for the Corinthian-Casuals match programme for that, and plan to hang around after the game to catch their set ? you won?t be disappointed.


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Friday 11 February 2005
first team news
Slough date set and kids for a quid

AFC Wimbledon will travel to play Slough Town in the Bryco Cup Quarter Final on Tuesday 22 February, with kick off at 7.45 pm.

Slough have also announced they will be reducing their prices and running a "Kids for a Quid" promotion at the game, so prices will be as follows:
Adults £6, Over 60's £3, Children £1.


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Thursday 10 February 2005
youth news
Youth Teams Evening tomorrow

AFC Wimbledon Youth section is holding a Categories Evening tomorrow (Friday 11 February) at Kingsmeadow. The event will run from 8 to 11pm in the back bar.

Everyone is welcome to come and take part in this fun evening, which is not quite a quiz night, but more about just having a laugh and raising funds for our fantastic Youth section. Entrance is £5 and joy is guaranteed with 'The Great Firmo!' running the show!



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Wednesday 09 February 2005
first team news
It's a Good day to face Banstead

The league trip to Banstead will now be on Friday 25 March, not Saturday 26 March. Kick-off will still be at 3pm.


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Wednesday 09 February 2005
first team news
Dons to face Rebels

Wimbledon have been drawn away to Slough Town in the Bryco Cup Fifth Round (Quarter Finals). Dates and details will follow as soon as they are known.


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Tuesday 08 February 2005
first team news
Palace game put back a day

The Surrey Senior Cup Fourth Round tie against Crystal Palace date has been changed at the opposition's request. It will now be played on Wednesday 2 March at The Fans' Stadium - Kingsmeadow, kick-off at 7.45pm.

Tickets will be priced at the normal reduced cup rate:

Terrace:
£6 Adults, £3 concessions, £2 Under-16s.

Main Stand:
£8 Adults, £4 concessions, £3 Under-16s.



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Tuesday 08 February 2005
reserve team news
Skinner off on loan

Marc Skinner is training with Dorking tonight, with a view to joining them on a month's loan. Manager John Morris explained:

"We don't have any Saturday games for about four weeks, so this is a good opportunity for Skins to get some games in, all the more so because with the amount of first teamers we've had dropping down as they come back from injury, he's not even been able to be a regular here in the last few games."

The manager also confirmed that Sam Elliott left the club last month.


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Monday 07 February 2005
first team news
Injury update

Mike Rayner brought us this update after the weekend's action:

Steve Butler and Anthony Howard ? against Leatherhead, Steve took a blow to his right calf, and Anthony to his left thigh, and both suffered what is commonly
known as a 'dead-leg', or if you like an inter or intra muscular haematoma.
This type of injury can be very serious despite the common misconception people have that it can be run off. The pool of blood that collects within the tissues must be gradually dispersed, and the damaged blood vessels and muscle tissue must be gradually introduced to range of movement and strength-based exercises to allow adequate healing. An overly aggressive treatment could cause the stimuli for the blood to change to bone tissue. Despite this, I feel they both are in with a chance of playing this Saturday, providing they respond well to treatment.

Michael Woolner - as mentioned by Dave, Micky had a reaction to his hamstring in the last few strides of a two hour training session last Thursday. It was a big blow for us, as he had progressed well up to then through his rehab programme. It appears that this will have set him back at least another one or two weeks.

Joe Sheerin - Joe has kept working hard in the last few weeks, and he and I are positive that he will come through his latest set-back better and stronger. Despite all the back and hip rehab work we have introduced since the start of the season, I recommended Joe have a precautionary appointment with a Chiropractor last week. This was to see if a specialist could identify any further underlying issues that could be affecting his hamstring. This showed up no further problems, and Joe has progressed well since then, and is due to train this coming week with a view to game time with the reserves soon after.

Jake Cole - injured his finger in his first game with us. It did not seem to worsen, but neither did it progress, and QPR decided it best to rest him last Saturday. We wait to see how he progresses this coming week.

Danny Naisbitt - in the final stages of rehabilitation now for his pulled ?kicking-muscle? (rectus femoris). Slight alterations to the rehab programme have been necessary recently to ensure the area is fully strengthened. I am sure within the next week or so that Danny should be about ready for a training session, and game time after that.

Paul Smith - playing at present with a heavy strapping on his ankle following a collision on the pitch several weeks ago. It has been sore for him, but although it is slow responding to treatment, Paul has been excellent in informing me of his situation as we aim to resolve this.


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Monday 07 February 2005
first team news
Palace date set

The Surrey Senior Cup Fourth Round tie against Crystal Palace will be played on Tuesday 1 March at The Fans' Stadium - Kingsmeadow. Tickets will be priced at the normal reduced cup rate:

Terrace:
£6 Adults, £3 concessions, £2 Under-16s.

Main Stand:
£8 Adults, £4 concessions, £3 Under-16s.


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Monday 07 February 2005
first team news
No trains on Saturday

Fans coming to the game on Saturday are advised that there will be no trains between Wimbledon and Norbiton station. All services from London Waterloo will operate a replacement bus service from Wimbledon to Norbiton, leaving at 23 and 53 minutes past the hour.

Fans can also catch the 131 bus from Wimbledon Station, which stops at the entrance to the ground.


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Sunday 06 February 2005
club news
Dave Towse moves on

Dave Towse has decided to move on.

The 25 year-old left-back who came through the AFC Wimbledon trials on Wimbledon Common and played in the Sutton United friendly on 10 July 2002, is hoping to play first team football at Dorking.

With the number of good quality Under-18 players now being brought through to the reserve side, Dave decided it is time to call an end to his AFC Wimbledon career. He explained "This was an incredibly difficult decision, I have so many friends and memories here, but I feel the time is right".

The club would like to thank Dave for his hard work and commitment over the years and to wish him all the best for the future, on and off the field.


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Friday 04 February 2005
first team news
Squad for Leatherhead

Manager Dave Anderson has announced the following squad for the trip to Leatherhead:

Jake Cole, Paul Smith, Steve Gibson, Jay Conroy, Steve Butler, Mark Cooper, Antony Howard, Ryan Gray, Mark Jones, Rob Ursell, Gareth Graham, Gavin Bolger, Chris Gell, Jon-Barrie Bates, Andy Frost, Richard Butler, Leon McDowall, Andrew Martin.

Jon-Barrie Bates and Gareth Graham will both undergo fitness tests before the game. Michael Woolner experienced a reaction to his hamstring injury in training last night and so is not available. Martin Randall has recovered from his injury and will be travelling to Tonbridge Angels with the reserves.

The team will be managed by John Turner and Warren Kelly tomorrow, as Dave explained: "I have a long-standing family comittment in Manchester, which I cleared with the Chairman a long time ago. I'm gutted to be missing a game and will struggle to concentrate, but this is important for my family. I have every confidence in JT and Wazza - my only worry is that come 5 o'clock it will be 'Turner & Kelly's Yellow & Blue Army'."


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Thursday 03 February 2005
first team news
Anderson makes new signing

The Dons today signed Andrew Martin, a former Welsh Under-21 striker who played 21 first-team games for Crystal Palace between 1998 and 2000.

Martin played for Dulwich Hamlet against Wimbledon on Saturday 22 January and has since been released, along with a number of other players.

Manager Dave Anderson said "I have known about Andrew for a while now, since he was with Hornchurch. It?s no secret we have been after a centre forward and we are delighted to have got him. Some of our supporters will already know about him. He is experienced and confident and is an excellent addition for the squad for the run in. I would ask the supporters to give him time to settle in but we have no doubt about his ability".


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Thursday 03 February 2005
dons trust news
Ladies host Valentines Ball

The AFC Wimbledon Ladies side would like to invite you to their Valentines Ball on Friday 18th February. Come down to the romantic setting of Kingsmeadow from 8pm to late. There'll be plenty of buffet, a disco, late bar, top prizes and more!

Admission in advance £5, £1 extra for special 'dating badge' and the dress code is smart casual.

Tickets available from the main bar or in the main entrance foyer on matchdays. Proceeds to Princess Alice Hospice, Cancer Research and the AFC Wimbledon Stadium Fund


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Wednesday 02 February 2005
club news
Shop update

Merchandise supremo Tim Hillyer writes:

The shop has now received stock of blue mugs with the Club crest in yellow. Priced at £5, these are the perfect complement to your yellow mugs.

Following our recent stock-take and subsequent deliveries of replenishment stock, we have updated stock availability on the merchandise section of the official website. Additionally, thanks to Toby?s excellent work, more stock is pictured.

Our friends at Newport (Isle of Wight) have supplied stock of the Matchday Programme from last week?s League fixture. Many pages of editorial and features give generous praise to our efforts and success at AFC Wimbledon. Also a very timely issue, following the acquisition of their Club by their Supporters? Trust only the day before our match. Price £1.30.



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Wednesday 02 February 2005
dons trust news
Family Fun Day

The third Dons Trust/AFC Wimbledon Family Fun Day will be held on Sunday 15 May.  Once again, the event will take place at the Fans' Stadium, Kingsmeadow.  The organisers plan to make this Fun Day the best yet (weather permitting).  However, this will require contributions from a lot of people.  If you can help with the organisation of one aspect of the Fun Day, please contact Roger Dennis on roger.dennis@thedonstrust.org or at a match.  



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Tuesday 01 February 2005
first team news
Squad ready for cup action

Dave Anderson has named the following squad for tonight's visit of Cray Wanderers in the Bryco Cup:

Jake Cole, Paul Smith, Steve Gibson, Jay Conroy, Steve Butler, Mark Cooper, Antony Howard, Ryan Gray, Mark Jones, Rob Ursell, Gareth Graham, Gavin Bolger, Chris Gell, Jon-Barrie Bates, Richard Butler, Leon McDowall, Gary Prigent.

Martin Randall is still carrying an injury and so has been left out to rest tonight, while Gareth Graham is doubtful with his ongoing groin problem.

The manager added:
"It'll be another tough game, but obviously we're hoping for more of a spectacle than on Saturday. We played 3-5-2 to start with because we felt that was the best way to set up with the players on the pitch and it didn't work. In the first half we didn't pass it and got drawn into a long ball game. It felt like watching us 15 games ago.

"At half-time we tried to change the setup to increase the passing and when that didn't work we switched it back to 4-4-2. Tonight we'll look to change things round again. Sorry, but I'm not going to tell anyone our formation and set-up in advance for obvious reasons, but hopefully when the fans see the game they'll see us passing better and using the ball better."

The team line-ups, match incidents and report will appear here and commentary will be supplied by the WDON team as usual.


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