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Monday 30 December 2002
club news
Raynes Park Vale rearranged fixture.

THE home league match versus Raynes Park Vale, postponed on Boxing Day, has been rescheduled for Saturday 1 February, at Kingsmeadow, kick-off 3 PM.

Tickets bought in advance for the Boxing Day match will be valid for this game. Those who bought tickets in advance and are unable to make the new date should apply to the club for a refund before Saturday 25 January.

Supporters wanting a refund ahould send their tickets to:

Raynes Park Vale Refunds
AFC Wimbledon
297 Haydons Road
Wimbledon
SW19 8TX

Please enclose a stamp self-addressed envelope and details of the person to whom you would like the refund cheque to be made payable.

No personal callers please.



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Thursday 26 December 2002
club news
Boxing Day match POSTPONED

11:45am
TODAY'S match at Kingsmeadow against Raynes Park Vale is OFF due to a waterlogged pitch.


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Wednesday 25 December 2002
first team news
Chipstead ticket sales.

TICKETS for the forthcoming away match against Chipstead, to be played at Whyteleafe FC, will be on sale, from the kiosk inside the main entrance, before and after the match on Boxing Day.

Tickets are 6 for adults and 3 for concessions. AFC Wimbledon and Dons Trust merchandise will also be on sale from the back bar, nearest the Athletics Stadium, before the match.



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Tuesday 24 December 2002
first team news
Raynes Park Vale arrangements.

FOR this match a significant number of tickets have been sold to Raynes Park Vale supporters.

In order to ensure the comfort and safety of all supporters, and having taken police advice, AFC Wimbledon have decided to accommodate all Raynes Park Vale supporters within the Athletics Stadium terrace.

Wimbledon supporters will be able to pay at the gate on the day, except for seats in the Main Stand, which is sold out.

Admission will be to the Grolsch and Kingston Road terraces from the turnstiles nearest the entrance to Kingsmeadow, and to the Athletics Stadium terrace from the turnstiles nearest the Athletics Stadium. We have approximately 800 places available on the day for the Kingston Road and Grolsch terraces, and 500 places available on the day for the Athletics Stadium terrace.

At the request of the police, once supporters are in the ground, they will not be able to move to other parts of the stadium.

This means that supporters will not be able to change ends at half-time, or indeed at any time on the day. In particular, supporters located in the Main Stand or on the Kingston Road or Grolsch terraces will not be able to walk through the Athletics Stadium terrace.

The teabar and toilets at the Athletics Stadium end of the ground will be for the use of supporters in the Athletics Stadium terrace only. Supporters in all other parts of the ground will be able to use the facilities at the Kingston Road end of the ground only.

As previously stated, there will be no transfers into the Main Stand on the day. All seats have been sold for this game. Please note that there are likely to be a number of seats unused on the day, due to Main Stand season ticket holders not being present or taking their place on the terraces by choice. We cannot sell these seats twice.

Turnstiles will open at 11:30 AM.




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Thursday 19 December 2002
first team news
Match reaction.

TERRY Eames felt that the side showed him what he wanted to see in the victory
over Ditton:

"I was pleased for the two young boys up front. Both scored and both will get a confidence boost from it. At the back we looked quite good as well. Andy Bell has come back after a bad little run and he has done quite well. It is unfortunate that he made the error for their goal but other than that his overall play was quite good. In midfield we didn't keep the ball long enough and didn't work it long enough, but I look at it in a good frame of mind. We have come away 5-1 and we scored some good goals."

Terry does not feel that the side will struggle without captain Joe Sheerin
during his suspension:

"We have Coops and two good young boys and they are good enough to cope when Joe is suspended. They showed that today. When they get a bit of confidence they are as good as anybody."

Four goal hero Andrew Petty gave credit to the manager of Netherne:

"It is all down to Nicky English bringing me up here and telling Terry that I had played for him last season and that I score goals. I thank him for all the support he has given me. The first goal was the best goal. It was the first chance that I had and I took it well. The third goal, the lob over the keeper was pretty good as well."

Goal scorer Ali Russell enjoyed his evening's work:

"It was a nice match to play in, no pressure on us after we had scored enough to win it. We played across the back beautifully. I have been out of sorts recently and not holding the ball up but it was a bit better today. I am still unfit, so I hope there is improvement left to come. The goal was alright, but I couldn't really have missed it. It was a lovely cross from Danny. You are always pleased with a goal."

Match captain Danny Oakins explained the confusion over who would take the
penalty:

"I was always going to take the penalty, Andrew Petty had already scored four and so I took it. I was always going to put the penalty into the bottom left but the keeper guessed right and got his hand to it."



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Tuesday 17 December 2002
club news
Official announcement.

TOOTING & Mitcham United FC and AFC Wimbledon are working together on a 3-year
ground share agreement. Subject to finalising the deal and obtaining planning approval, AFC Wimbledon will join Tooting & Mitcham United FC in its brand new, 3,500-capacity stadium at the Imperial Sports Ground, Bishopsford Road, Merton.

Welcoming the agreement, chairman of Tooting and Mitcham United FC, John Buffoni said:

"This is a great deal for both clubs and the community. It secures the long term future of the stadium, which provides a classic home for ?people?s football? and fantastic facilities and growth potential for other community sport and leisure activities."

Chairman of AFC Wimbledon, Kris Stewart said:

"We?re still looking for a permanent home but this would provide a first-class base in the meantime. An agreement for us to share the excellent facilities at Bishopsford Road would be great for AFC Wimbledon, for Tooting & Mitcham United FC and for the community here in Merton. I am very hopeful that we could develop a mutually beneficial relationship during the initial 3-year term of the deal."

The Clubs are applying to Merton Council to extend the seating capacity of the stadium from 650 to 1,650 and convert wasteland behind the stadium in to an enclosed, floodlit, practice pitch. The aim is for AFC Wimbledon to move into office accommodation during February 2003, ready for the start of the new season in August.

Richard Rawes, director of Merton Council?s Environment Services said:

"Both Tooting & Mitcham United FC and AFC Wimbledon are important parts of the Merton community. Over past months, we have been in talks with both clubs, looking at ways to secure their future in the borough. We will continue our work with The Dons Trust to help identify a permanent home for AFC Wimbledon in the borough. We now look forward to receiving the proposals and working with both clubs in helping them to reach their aims."

In addition to its first class football pitch, the stadium complex has four all-weather pitches which play host to many hundreds of footballers of all ages and abilities every day of the week. There is also almost 20,000 sq ft of covered space awaiting fit-out for community sports and leisure activities.

Both clubs respect the possible concerns of the neighbours. They are therefore currently reviewing any potential impact on the local community arising from the new development and have organised an open day from 11am to 1pm on Sunday, 12th January at the Stadium, when the local community is invited to meet with Club officials to discuss any concerns they may have, and to see and enjoy the facilities at first hand.

REACTION TO THE NEWS
Roger Casale, MP for Wimbledon said;

"I welcome this provisional ground-share deal in Merton which is a step in the right direction towards a permanent home. Fans of AFC Wimbledon will not want to give up the dream of returning to Plough Lane at some point in the future and neither do I. In the meantime, it is great news that AFC Wimbledon fans will once again be able to go to a home game in the Borough."

Lou Carton-Kelly, Chair of The Dons Trust, owners of AFC Wimbledon, said:

"The Dons Trust is delighted that AFC Wimbledon could be playing in Merton soon as this would at least address AFC Wimbledon?s short term needs. We will continue to work towards a permanent home within the borough."



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Sunday 15 December 2002
club news
Suspensions received.

FOLLOWING their recent sendings off Danny Oakins and Joe Sheerin are set to miss games in the new year.

Danny Oakins has received a seven day ban which runs from 6 January 2003 until 12 January 2003. Joe has been given a 35 day ban which will also start on 6 January 2003 and will end 9 February 2003.



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Saturday 14 December 2002
club news
Club statement.

YOU may have seen a note on the Tooting and Mitcham website announcing "in principle" a three year ground share with AFCW.

As you know, Brentford FC have an option on Kingsmeadow which, if taken up, would mean that we cannot continue there. Therefore, we have no choice other than to explore all other options for somewhere to play next season.

Our discussions with T&M arose very recently, following an approach from them. We have now reached the stage where we have agreed to support an application to Merton Council for certain planning matters that require clearance before this option is possible.

We had planned to issue a joint press release on Monday night after a Dons Trust Board meeting. We regret that we have not been able to announce this
news in the way we had planned.

Although this is a very attractive option for the club we have made no written commitment, except to support this planning application - there is still a long way to go. The Dons Trust Board has been kept informed throughout the negotiations, and we have made it very clear that any arrangement we make, with T&M or any other club, is no substitute for finding a permanent home. AFCW continues to work closely with the Dons Trust and Merton Council, to achieve our goal of a permanent home in Merton.

We will make no further comment before Monday night.



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Friday 13 December 2002
first team news
Squad announced.

TERRY Eames has named the following squad for the home match against Sandhurst Town:

Glyn Shimell, Danny Oakins, Mark Nicholas, Tony Readings, Keith Ward, Lee Sidwell, Sean Daly, Neil Robson, Andy Sullivan, Kevin Cooper, Joe Sheerin, gavin Bolger, Lee Passmore, Andrew Petty.



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Wednesday 11 December 2002
first team news
Cup fixtures announced.

THE following matches have been announced:

Ditton v AFC Wimbledon - Cherry Red Books Trophy
Wednesday 18 December - this game will now be played at Hampton & Richmond FC KO 7:30pm.

AFC Wimbledon v Barkingside - London Senior Cup 3rd Round
This game has been arranged to take place at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday 8 January 2003, KO 7:45pm.



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Wednesday 11 December 2002
club news
Match ticket information.

Walton Casuals
TICKETS are now available for AFC Wimbledon supporters for the Walton Casuals away game on 21 December 2002. They can can be purchased from Kingsmeadow from the kiosk inside the main entrance at the forthcoming home game against Sandhurst on Saturday 14 December.

Alternatively Walton tickets can be purchased by post from the AFC Wimbledon office payment by cheque or postal order, no cash. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope. The last date for postal applications will be 17 December. (no personal callers please).

Tickets are priced at 6 adults and 4 concessions.

There will be a shuttle service from Walton Station to ground (2 return) first coach at 12.30 p.m.

The Car park in field adjacent to ground (weather permitting) price 1 per car.

Walton will also be providing a beer tent and will be hosting a programme sale, which will include an auction of a complete set of Wimbledon first 3 seasons in the football league.

A 48 page colour programme will be available for 2, along with commemorative enamel badges, and a limited number of videos of the league cup match in October - all be available on the day.

Cobham
TICKETS are also available for AFC Wimbledon supporters for the away match at Cobham on Saturday 11 January 2003.

At present tickets are only available by post from the AFCW office - payment by cheque or postal order, no cash. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope. Mark your application envelope "Cobham Tickets", and send it to:

AFC Wimbledon,
297 Haydons Road,
Wimbledon, London,
SW19 8TX.

(no personal callers please)

Cobham tickets will be on sale at Kingsmeadow on 4 January 2003 for our home game against Southall.

Tickets are priced at 6 adults and 3 for OAPs. Under 14's are free.




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Monday 09 December 2002
first team news
Match reaction.

DESPITE the winning result, Director of Football Terry Eames was far from happy
with the team's performance:

"We played badly, but we got away with it. We rode our luck, as we have in a few games. It is upsetting, we got three points, but that is all we got out of the game. I take no pleasure from it and I made sure that the players didn't take any pleasure from it either because that wasn't a satisfactory performance. I want more from them and they will deliver if they want to stay at the club.

They battled back but they have done that enough before. I know what ability I have in the side and I know that I have people who will battle and get on the end of things but we have come to the stage now where I expect more."

Player-Coach Neil Robson was also disappointed with the lacklustre display:

"The frustrating thing was that we seemed to be able to go and score at will,
but we didn't do it for more than ten or fifteen minutes. We were thinking
afterwards 'why can't we do that for 45 minutes?', be four or five up and then enjoy ourselves rather than playing under pressure, having to work hard and grinding out a result. In my view we have done that too often. Teams like this we should take to the cleaners."

Kevin Cooper knew he would not be given much of an opportunity to grab the
winner:

"When they got their third goal I honestly thought that was it. I could see
movement on the bench and I knew, with Joe off already, it was probably me who Ali was going to replace. I just thought 'I've got one chance - take it'. Thank god I took it. I was well chuffed. It was a cracking game to watch, I expect. But to play in, it would be nice just not to give away so many goals."

Lee Passmore believes that the depth of the squad makes for healthy
competition for places in the team:

"I think it is good that we have competition for places, it keeps everybody
on their toes and everyone has to play as well as possible to stay in the
side. If you haven't got that competition, then people feel they are safe."



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Friday 06 December 2002
first team news
Squad announced.

TERRY Eames has named the following squad for the home match against Chessington United:

Glyn Shimell, Danny Oakins, Mark Nicholas, Tony Readings, Keith Ward, Lee Sidwell, Sean Daly, Neil Robson, Andy Sullivan, Kevin Cooper, Joe Sheerin, Ali Russell, Lee Passmore, Andrew Petty.



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Friday 06 December 2002
club news
Coops inside his head.

KEVIN Cooper has been speaking ahead of tomorrow's match about the arrival of Andrew Petty and a return to winning ways:

"It's always good to have competition for places and it's nice to know that we have players to come in if someone gets injured. I thought Andrew Petty and I linked up pretty well in the second half last week.

"Things just didn't go for us in the games that we lost against Feltham and Wallingford and that did hit our confidence a bit but we've still got all the top teams to play at home. Ash play Wallingford on Saturday and that should be interesting.

"I know that I can play a lot better than I have in the last few games and it was frustrating that the game against Ditton was called off again this week because that might have been a chance for us to score a few goals and get some confidence before the league games start again."



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Friday 06 December 2002
club news
From the treatment room.

INJURY update
This week I am in the fortunate position of having nothing to report from the treatment room. All the players are fit to play and are available for selection.

Obviously at this stage of the season there will be one or two carrying bruises etc. but football is a physical contact game and traumas such as these are part and parcel of football. And long may it continue to be so. (Don?t you get fed up with suits trying to stop the physical side of the game and turn it into a non-contact sport, where tackling is a lost art form, and every game finishes 7-6 and is played in front of a middle-class crowd with their 2.4 children, all in replica kits, and eating the ubiquitous prawn sandwiches and shouting ?Oh, come on Fulham??)

Precaution at Viking Greenford
Last Sunday against Viking Greenford, Joe Sheerin was substituted at half-time. As Terry Eames said in his post-match comments Joe was taken off as a precaution. From questions asked of me it seems that our supporters may have formed the opinion that Joe?s hamstring trouble has flared up again, so I would like to set the record straight.

Joe started his first game in six weeks at Wallingford, and played his first full game the following Wednesday against Bedfont, and he was clearly very tired at the end of it. Joe never gives less than 100% in any game he plays and his style means he covers a lot of ground. Against Viking it was clear to Terry and I that he was not firing on all cylinders and that could put the player in the position that he could strain muscles because of tiredness. With the quality of players at Terry?s disposal, it made sense to take Joe off and rest him, and I would say that Terry?s decision was justified by the result.

With Doc. Wheeler?s advice I believe we have located the cause of Joe?s hamstring problems and are confident that that problem has been eradicated.


Behind the Scenes
One of our best signings at AFC Wimbledon has been Martin McGee. Martin is a masseur from the London School of Massage and was highly recommended to me. He can only attend home games because space limitations at away grounds in the CCL are restrictive. Sometimes we have to change in shifts so the chance of pre-match massage is remote.

Martin arrives at Kingsmeadow at 12:30 on Saturdays and 5:30 midweek and provides pre-match massage. He will start with the players that I want to receive a massage and between us we are specific as to what muscles are to be worked on. He then massages the players who feel it is beneficial to them, and increasingly the value of Martin?s work is becoming clear to the players.

Post-match massage is available from Martin at his clinic and AFC Wimbledon players are beginning to take advantage of his skills.

I have already approached Martin to ensure his services for next season when we are in the Ryman League Division One!

Enjoy the game against Chessington United on Saturday.
John Harris
Sports Therapist
AFC Wimbledon.




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Wednesday 04 December 2002
club news
Venue switch.

THE away game against Chipstead on Saturday 28 December will now be played at Whyteleafe FC's ground.


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Wednesday 04 December 2002
first team news
Ditton fixture postponed.

TONIGHT'S match (Wednesday 4 December) has been POSTPONED due to a waterlogged pitch.

AFC Wimbledon apolgise for the late announcement on the official website.



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Monday 02 December 2002
first team news
Squad announced.

TERRY Eames has announced the following squad for the Cherry Red Books Trophy match against Ditton this coming Wednesday:

Glyn Shimell, Keith Ward, Danny Oakins, Tony Readings, Mark Nicholas, Sean Daly, Lee Sidwell, Lee Passmore, Neil Robson, Andy Sullivan, Ali Russell, Andrew Petty, Phil Donaldson, Robbie Burns, Kevin Cooper.

Terry added that Gavin Bolger and Joe Sheerin were being rested due to slight knocks they received in the match against Viking Greenford.



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Monday 02 December 2002
first team news
Match reaction.

TERRY Eames felt that the Dons only really put on a good performance towards the end of their 4-0 win over Viking Greenford:

"It was a match that I expected to win but we didn't do it in the way that I wanted us to win. Not until the last 20 minutes did we show any sort of real passion to want to demolish them. If we had had that for the previous 70 minutes then it would have been a very good performance."

"I was pleased with young Andrew Petty coming on. He did ever so well. He is very raw but sometimes we try to be too pretty. We had two big boys up front to start with and they were being too pretty. I wasn't happy about that. I left Coops out because I wanted to have a look at a few things, but he came on and did quite well. There is lots of competition and that is great."

New signing Andrew Petty was very glad to get his first chance and first goals for the club:

"I am very happy. All I could do was do my best and try to get on the scoresheet and I managed it. I've always played number nine and scored goals. That's what I do. I have been working on Saturdays, but obviously I am not going to do so now. I hope to put as much dedication as I have been putting into work into football. I am delighted to have the opportunity and I will give it my best shot."

Captain Joe Sheerin acknowledged that the strikers who came off the bench perhaps had the best of the game:

"In the first half we were a little bit off the boil but we picked it up in the second half and did quite well. The new lad scored a couple of goals and looked sharp. Coops always likes to score goals and not being in the starting line-up might have been a bit of a kick up the backside for him - not that he needed it, he did well. At the end of the match I was pleased."

"I was struggling in the first half - my back was a bit sore and my left hamstring was twingeing a little bit so I though it was best if I came off, but it was a precaution and a reaction to playing my first full 90 minutes in ages last Wednesday."

Goal scorer Kevin Cooper was keen to see the team do well:

"It was a bit of a jolt not to be starting, but Terry wanted to see Ali and Joe play together with all the injuries and the suspensions coming up. I was pleased to get the goal and I was trying to be creative. I had one cleared off the line and I got the ball back again but I thought the best thing to do then was to lay it off rather than try another shot and I am happy that Andy Petty scored from it."



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