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Thursday 29 April 2004
first team news
Cup final preview and plans

NICKY English has named the following squad for tomorrow's Premier Challenge Cup Final:

Ross Standen, Steve Gibson, Matt Everard, Lewis Taylor, Danny Oakins, Jamie Angell, Darren Dobinson, Paul Quinn, Andy Sullivan, Lee Sidwell, Seb Favata,
Gavin Bolger, Gareth Graham. Ryan Gray, Kevin Cooper, Jamie Taylor.

Nicky spared a thought for two players who will be sidelined through injury:
"Obviously we didn't expect Joe Sheerin to be back, but Simon Bassey was injured giving his all as ever on Tuesday night and is ruled out for three weeks with medial ligament damage.

"Bass has been playing very well of late and has given his all for me every time he's come onto the pitch, making a game-changing difference at times. His attitude is second-to-none and he's very disappointed to be missing out. But he's also very honest - he could have tried to tell me he was ok to get a place on the bench. Instead I've told him I want him to be there in the dressing room geeing the players up.

"As for Joe, I know he's finding it frustrating to be on the sidelines. When he's fully fit, he'd be the first name on the teamsheet for me personally. Whether I'm the manager or not for next year, I'll be working with him over the summer one-one-one, doing some boxing training and the like to make sure you'll see a new Joe Sheerin next season. The one good thing to come out of his situation was that it gave me the impetus to really chase Shane Small-King. He's already shown what he's about and I think there's probably 25% more to come from him next season too."

Turning his attentions to tomorrow, the acting manager explained the club's plans to ensure the players are well prepared:
"We'll all be getting down to Kingsmeadow about 2 o'clock, to make sure everyone has their minds switched on. That'll give me time to announce the starting line-up and for everyone to have a late lunch together. We'll have a quiet afternoon before getting the coach down about 5pm. We'll look to arrive there about 6pm to have another look at the pitch, get used to the surroundings and make sure everyone is in the right frame of mind. All you can do is your best, so we want to make sure we give ourselves the best preparation possible."

And he is expecting a big crowd to get behind the team:
"I've been hearing suggestions there'll be more than 4,000 people there - that would be immense. I know how good our fans our, how well-behaved they are and how supportive they are anyway, and I understand lots of people have special things planned for this one, with flags, rosettes, banners and balloons. We're looking forward to a carnival atmosphere, and as I've said before, when our fans are on song, they're worth a goal start to us.

"I know the fans will be doing everything they can to bring that cup back and we'll be doing our utmost as well. There will be five people sitting on that bench desperate to get on, so we'll be looking to make sure everyone on the pitch is 100% up for it. I hope the fans have a good day and we'll look to bring the cup home for them and have one hell of a party, before seeing them all again on Monday!"

Matt Everard took time off from a hectic day's work to think about the final:
"Personally, I'm taking the whole day off, I'm really looking forward to it. I actually got to the final with Ash in my first season there. It was against Chessington & Hook and, funnily enough, we played them in the league the week before, as we did this time with North Greenford. They put out a weakened team in the league and we beat them 4-0, then we won 5-0 against their full-strength side in the final and I scored, so I hope that's a good omen."

And he expects this game to be a bigger experience, especially if he is leading the Dons out:
"Oh, it'll be bigger this time, massively bigger. That was my first senior cup final, so I was probably more nervous then than I will be this time. There was a good local crowd for that one, but nothing compared to what we're expecting tomorrow night. Personally I reckon it'll be between 3,500 and 5,000 people - everyone seems to bringing someone else with them, so I reckon it'll be a really good atmosphere, so long as we get the right result!

"It's not been announced who the captain for the night will be yet, but of course it would be a honour to lead the team out. As you might have noticed, I don't really do the armband thing, but I'd be a very proud man. It should be a good night and I expect it to be noisy."

Whilst circumspect, he thinks the Dons are quietly confident of victory:
"We're confident, but we're certainly not over-confident or taking anything for granted. North Greenford are a decent side, make no mistake about that. They beat Wallingford 3-2 to get to the final and only had one first team player in the team on Tuesday. I won't make any predictions, but they'll have to do very well to stop us winning.

"All the players are experienced enough now to be used to the crowd to an extent. It's only Jamie Taylor and Ross who've come in since the start of the season, and they've played in front of big crowds anyway. It doesn't stop you being a bit nervous, but we're able to use it to our advantage and get on with the job in hand."

After winning the toss, the Dons will be playing in their home blue kit and using the home dressing room. The gates will open at 6pm for a 7.45pm kick-off, with admission 8 for adults and 4 for concessions. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid congestion at the turnstiles. There are still a few places left on the fans' coach from Kingsmeadow - it leaves at 5.45 pm and is 8 for adults and 4 for concessions, returning 30 minutes after the trophy presentation.

After the game, the bar will be open at Kingsmeadow until 1am (serving until 12.30) and the team are expected to make their way back to the ground for a celebratory or commiserative drink. We are unfortunately limited by fire restrictions to 400 guests, so can only admit people on a first come, first served basis. We had hoped to be able to cater for more fans, but the terms of our licence have made it impossible. Further, our public entertainment licence is important to us and we need to keep our neighbours happy, so please show them some respect by coming back and then leaving the stadium late at night quietly.

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Thursday 29 April 2004
first team news
Injured cove player update

FANS may be interested to learn that Lewis Scott, the Cove player who was carried off in some distress in the last match here, is recovering well, and, contrary to our reporter's surmise in the match report, did not suffer a broken leg. After being taken to Kingston hospital, X-rays showed that the damage was limited to severe bruising and a very deep cut requiring several stitches. He is regaining movement and has just stopped needing crutches. Kris Stewart received a very gracious and kind email from his father, from which we this extract thought might be of interest:
"Could I ask you to pass on mine and Lewis's heartfelt thanks to all of the AFC Wimbledon staff who were extremely professional in dealing with the situation. Your security staff were switched on, caring and considerate of my concern for my son and allowed me to get onto the pitch to see him, your physio staff who attended to Lewis were great and continued to tell him that everything would be OK, and both of your club doctors were super and gave a calm assurance to Lewis and myself, and, by the way, were proved correct with their initial diagnosis of the injury.

Even your supporters were sympathetic to the injury and were understanding and courteous. Every one of your staff carried out their role by the book and really are a credit to yourself as club chairman and to AFC Wimbledon. Thank you.

You have a fabulous team on the pitch, as is seen week in and week out by your fans and you deserve your success, but what I would like you and your supporters to know is that you have an equally fantastic TEAM behind the scenes that for the main probably goes unseen? We experienced it first hand and were very grateful for the training that you have obviously put in place to ensure that situations as happened last night are dealt with with the minimum of trauma to those concerned."

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Tuesday 27 April 2004
club news
Communication breakdown

Yesterday (Monday) evening the router providing the internet connection to the AFC Wimbledon office stopped working. While we are working to have our connection up and running as soon as possible, it is almost certain that we will not be able to send or receive emails on Tuesday 27 April. Please bear with us while are trying to solve this problem. You can of course phone the office on 020 8547 3528 between 10am and 4pm on weekdays, or call donsline for the latest information from the club on 0906 210 0022 (calls cost 25p per minute: calls from mobiles and some other networks may cost more).

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Tuesday 27 April 2004
first team news
Squad named for NGU away

WITH one eye on this Friday's Cup Final, acting manager Nicky English has named the following squad for tonight's trip to North Greenford United:

Matt Martin, Rob Hill, Danny Oakins, Matt Everard, Lewis Taylor, Sam Elliott, Paul Quinn, Marc Skinner, Steve Gibson, Darren Dobinson, Seb Favata, Gareth Graham, Simon Bassey, Joe Hill, Shane Small-King, Andy Sullivan.

Nicky explained the inclusions:
"This is an important time of the year for the club now. The players we're trying out tonight are the ones who've been getting the best reviews from Dave Wager and have been playing consistently. It's time for them to show what they can do and show whether or not they're the sort of players to have the potential to become first team players in the future.

"It is awkward to bring the amount of players in that we're trying in one go, but the circumstances of the cup final and the knocks some of the first choice players are carrying make it necessary. If we were still trying to win the league, we might have asked the first team players to play both games, but with the league in the bag, we have the luxury of making sure we have the best possible preparation for the cup final and see the potential we have in the reserves. I expect the team we put out to do very well for us and have every confidence in them."

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Monday 26 April 2004
first team news
RPV time confirmed

THE kick-off for the Raynes Park Vale match at Gander Green Lane has been confirmed as 11.30am on Monday 3 May, tickets on sale on the day only.

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Monday 26 April 2004
youth news
Cooking with gas

BEN Canham's U14 E&E side drew 1-1 with Croygas in the League Cup Final at Banstead yesterday.

After taking a second-half lead through Sam Manzambi, they were just seconds from victory when a Croygas substitute took advantage of defensive confusion to fire past Jamie Henley and force extra-time.

Croygas had the better of the first period of extra time, but the game drew to a close with the Dons in the ascendancy once more. After a couple of blocked free-kicks, only a fine low save from the Croygas keeper denied Manzambi a winner in the closing seconds.

Well done to Ben and his boys for a great performance ? they will now have to do it all again on Sunday 9 May. Kick-off time and further details will appear on here as soon as possible.

Many thanks to the 300 or so who made it down to watch and support and we hope to see as many there again for the second attempt.

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Monday 26 April 2004
club news
Cup final coach

ON Friday night, the first team play in the first senior cup final for Wimbledon since 1988 as they travel to Woking for the Premier Challenge Cup final against North Greenford United. A coach has been arranged from Kingsmeadow leaving at 17.45, with tickets costing 8 for adults and 4 for concessions. It will bring people back to Kingsmeadow 30 minutes after the trophy presentation. Please contact the club by phone or on info@afcwimbledon.co.uk to book your place.

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Friday 23 April 2004
dons trust news
Further repayment of the Khosla debt

AS a result of recent fundraising activities the Dons Trust has today released 15,000 to reduce the debt to Mr Khosla. At the same time, AFC Wimbledon is confident that its financial results are sound enough to make a further 10,000 available to increase the repayment.

As a result, we now owe 1,075,000. Interest payable on the debt now averages just under 7,200 per month. It is scheduled to rise to approximately 9,000 per month in late September, so please do continue to support the Trust's fundraising efforts over the coming months.

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Friday 23 April 2004
club news
Eight games in eight days

OVER the next eight days, die-hard AFC Wimbledon fans have the chance to watch AFC Wimbledon in action every day for eight days.

On Saturday, Nicky English takes the Champions to Chalky Lane.

On Sunday, Ben Canham's U14 E&E side take on Croygas Youth in the League Cup Final at Banstead Atheltic FC, Merland Rise, Tadworth, with a 1.30pm kick-off. Will they be the first team to put some silverware (yes, we know about the SD Cup) in the trophy cabinet? (And yes, two youth league titles are also on their way). The ground is just off Great Tattenhams - A217 or A240.

On Monday, Banstead will be the venue once more as Dave Wager and Peter Heyne start a busy week of Suburban League action for the reserves in an evening kick-off.

On Tuesday night, the spotlight switches to the first team once more for the Cup Final rehearsal away at North Greenford United - one of the warmest welcomes on the CCL circuit.

On Wednesday evening, the highly successful AFC Wimbledon Ladies team play their last home league game of the season, taking on Millwall Lionesses at Kingsmeadow with a 7.30pm kick-off. With a superb second place finish in the Premier Division South still possible, come down and give your support to our highest ranked side.

Because of the ladies' game, the reserve team clash has been postponed from the original Wednesday scheduled to the Thursday. This is your chance to see Dave and Peter fire up the troops once more for the visit of Bracknell. This match will also be played at Kingsmeadow.

On Friday night, the first team play in the first senior cup final for Wimbledon since 1988 as they travel to Woking for the Premier Challenge Cup final against North Greenford United. A coach has been arranged from Kingsmeadow leaving at 17.45, with tickets costing 8 for adults and 4 for concessions. It will bring people back to Kingsmeadow 30 minutes after the trophy presentation.

And then, on Saturday 1 May, Dave Wager will shake off his possible hangover and join Peter in looking for a winning conclusion to the reserves' season as they travel to the local derby away at Tooting & Mitcham - so you can still get your Saturday football fix.

So why not make it to as many as you can and enjoy a hectic end to the season on all fronts? As a final incentive to come out and enjoy the hot weather - remember, every drink you have at Kingsmeadow helps the club raise more funds to pay off the stadium debt.

If anyone manages to make it to all eight encounters, we'll find a special prize for you in the office - send your evidence to editor@afcwimbledon.co.uk or speak to the club journalist before the end of the season.

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Friday 23 April 2004
first team news
Squad named for C&H away

NICKY English has named the following squad for the champions' trip to play Chessington & Hook tomorrow afternoon at Chalky Lane:

Ross Standen, Steve Gibson, Jamie Angell, Matt Everard, Danny Oakins, Paul Quinn, Darren Dobinson, Lewis Taylor, Seb Favata, Gareth Graham, Simon Bassey, Ryan Gray, Andy Sullivan, Lee Sidwell, Kevin Cooper, Shane Small-King.

The acting manager explained:
"Jamie Taylor has not recovered from a bruised thigh, so we'll rest him until the cup final. Gavin Bolger has got a foot problem. We could push them and make them play, but we don't want to risk it. I'd rather have them fit and fully available for the final. Finally, Jones Bamfo is still away attending a funeral abroad."

The match marks the start of an eight day period when it will be possible to see AFC Wimbledon in action every day for eight days, see article below.

Parking spaces will be extremely limited at Chalky Lane, with the Chessington World of Adventures also open, so fans are advised to use public transport if possible

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Tuesday 20 April 2004
club news
Fixtures confirmed

THE Dons' final home league match of the season against Reading Town has been scheduled and confirmed for Thursday 6 May at Kingsmeadow with a 7.45pm kick-off.

The Bank Holiday Monday trip to gander Green Lane to play Raynes Park Vale on 3 May is expected to be for an 11.30 am kick-off - this will be confirmed tomorrow.

Finally, here are the reserve team's final fixtures:
Mon 26 April - Epsom & Ewell - Away (at Banstead Ath)
Wed 28 April - Bracknell - Home (at Kingsmeadow)
Sat 1 May - Tooting & Mitcham - Away

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Tuesday 20 April 2004
first team news
Squad announced for Cove home game

Nicky English has named the following squad for the visit of Cove to the home of the CCL champions tomorrow evening:

Ross Standen, Danny Oakins, Lewis Taylor, Matt Everard, Darren Dobinson, Jamie Angell, Paul Quinn, Simon Bassey, Seb Favata, Gareth Graham, Lee Sidwell, Andy Sullivan, Gavin Bolger, Shane Small-King, Kevin Cooper, Jamie Taylor.

Nicky English explained:
"Ryan Gray has been rested. It's been a long hard season, he's played in a lot of games and he always works very hard. I think he's started to look a little jaded and a short rest will do him good. I want him to be ready for the cup final in particular. I've had a chat with him to explain my thinking and he's quite happy with it."

And the acting manager is looking forward to the team's first home match since securing the title:
"It's always a pleasure to play at Kingsmeadow because of the electrifying support we receive. We have taken winning for granted a bit this season, but I hope as many fans as possible get down to enjoy this run while it lasts and show the players what winning this league means to the fans and the club."

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Thursday 15 April 2004
first team news
That Friday feeling

The date and time of the Premier Challenge Cup Final against North Greenford United have been confirmed. It will be played at Woking's Kingfield ground on Friday 30 April with a 19.45 pm kick off. The gates will open at 18.00 pm.

Tickets will be 8 for adults and 4 for children and concessions and are available on the day only.

Westfield FC would like to inform supporters that their bar will be open before the game ? it is just down the road from Kingfield and some fans may well remember drinking there before or after one of our two away games against Westfield this season.

The league match against Reading Town currently scheduled for Saturday 1 May (and the Dons' last home game of the season) is expected to be postponed, but no date has yet been confirmed.

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Tuesday 13 April 2004
reserve team news
Reserves tonight

The AFC Wimbledon bandwagon rolls inexorably on with the final reserve home match of the season tonight at Hampton & Richmond's Beveree Stadium.

Bracknell are the opposition for a 7.45 kick-off. Lewis Taylor, Simon Bassey and Gareth Graham will all figure, so get down there if you can to enjoy some more flowing football from the boys in yellow and blue.

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Sunday 11 April 2004
first team news
Squad named for Casuals away

NICKY English has named the following squad for tomorrow's league encounter against Walton Casuals at Franklyn Road Sports Ground, Walton, kick-off 3pm:

Ross Standen, Danny Oakins, Matt Everard, Darren Dobinson, Lewis Taylor, Paul Quinn, Simon Bassey, Lee Sidwell, Gareth Graham, Seb Favata, Gavin Bolger, Ryan Gray, Jamie Taylor, Kevin Cooper, Jones Bamfo, Shane Small-King.

Jamie Angell is missing through suspension which runs up to and including Sunday 18 April.

Nicky said:
"I was very pleased with the way we won on Thursday. I thought we were excellent in the first half. On Saturday we played well in patches, but it's hard to be unhappy with a 6-0 win. If we can win tomorrow it will have been an excellent few days. If Wallingford don't win and those points mean tomorrow's the day we win the league, then that would be great, but we need to concentrate on our game. Walton are a very good side. They have been on a decent run and will be desperate to be the team to beat us. I've always said we can't walk with a swagger until we win something, so until we actually have that title in the bag, we won't be celebrating anything."

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Saturday 10 April 2004
first team news
Squad named for Withdeen home game

NICKY English has named the following squad for today's league encounter against Withdean at The Fans' Stadium, Kingsmeadow:

Ross Standen, Danny Oakins, Matt Everard, Jamie Angell, Darren Dobinson, Lewis Taylor, Paul Quinn, Simon Bassey, Lee Sidwell, Seb Favata, Gavin Bolger, Ryan Gray, Jamie Taylor, Kevin Cooper, Jones Bamfo, Shane Small-King.

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Wednesday 07 April 2004
club news
AFCW PLC accounts for the 6 months to December 31 2003

AT the recent Dons Trust special general meeting, we promised to hold a separate meeting to review the six months' accounts in greater detail for those who are interested in doing so.

This will be held on Tuesday 20 April at Kingsmeadow at 7.30, as part of a Finance Working Group meeting. The agenda for the meeting will be published nearer the time.

It would be helpful to know how many people are planning to come to the meeting so, if you expect to attend, will you please email finance@the donstrust.org

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Wednesday 07 April 2004
club news
The shirt off his back

THE number nine shirt in which Eddie Reynolds headed all four goals in the 1963 Amateur Cup Final is still on display in the Wimbledon Local History Museum. It currently has pride of place in a large glass cabinet in the centre of the museum, surrounded by related stories and information, as well as a ball signed by the current AFC Wimbledon squad.

But space is at a premium in the museum's Village Club home and from Sunday 2 May the shirt will be relegated to the level of Admiral Nelson, William Wilberforce and other famous local people among the main collection. It will, of course, remain on display.

So you have a final chance to view the shirt in its full glory amid the special display.

The Museum tell us that surprisingly few supporters have turned up so far ? so get yourselves down there and sign the guestbook!

The museum is located on the Ridgway, between Oddbins and the Emmanuel Church, on the corner of Lingfield Road. It is open between 2.30 and 5pm every Saturday and Sunday afternoon and admission is free.

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Wednesday 07 April 2004
club news
AFC Wallingford v AFC Wimbledon ? advance ticket sales

Wednesday 7 April 2004
AFC Wallingford v AFC Wimbledon ? advance ticket sales

THE game against AFC Wallingford on 8 May will now be held at Kingsmeadow.

Arrangements for seat tickets
Because it was originally due to be played at Wallingford's ground, the match is an "away" game as regards seating arrangements. Therefore, Main Stand season ticket holders CANNOT be guaranteed their "usual" seats. In addition, please note that we have agreed with Wallingford that they will take all of Block H in the Main Stand. The rest of the seats are available for sale to our fans, however.

Main Stand and President's Lounge season ticket holders may apply by post from Monday 12 April or in person at the office between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on weekdays. We cannot process applications on a matchday but you may leave your application ? look out for the notices explaining where to do so.

Applications should enclose voucher J, a stamped, addressed envelope and a cheque for the amount due. We will allocate seats as close as possible to your preference on a "first come, first served", basis. Please enclose your telephone number but we will only telephone you if we can't give you a seat anywhere near your preference. Please remember that Block H is NOT available to AFC Wimbledon fans.

From Monday 26 April, Dons Trust members and Terrace season ticket holders may apply for seats. Any remaining seats will be made available on general sale from Tuesday 4 May.

Main stand prices are as follows:

Adult 8
Concession 4
Under-16s 3
Arrangements for terrace tickets
Following a review of the match arrangements, we have also decided to sell terrace tickets in advance. (This decision was taken after the Withdean programme went to print. The programme notes are now superseded by this notice.)

pplications may be made by post, enclosing a stamped, addressed envelope and a cheque for the amount due. It is not necessary to enclose a voucher for terrace tickets. Terrace tickets will also be available to callers at the office between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on weekdays.

In addition, terrace tickets (but not seat tickets) will be on sale in the back bar before the Withdean game on Saturday 10 April.

Terrace prices are as follows:

Adult 6
Concession 3
Under-16s 2
Recently, we have experienced increasing problems with returned cheques. For this reason, we will delay posting your tickets until the cheque has cleared, so please apply early and allow a few days for cheque clearance. Please remember that we cannot accept credit card payments.

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Wednesday 07 April 2004
club news
Office closure

THE AFC Wimbledon office will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday. It will re-open as normal on Tuesday 13 April.

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Wednesday 07 April 2004
first team news
Matt lends a hand and Arfur quits

MATT Martin has joined Whyteleafe on loan until the end of the season. The popular second choice keeper will remain on the AFC Wimbledon books but turn out for the Ryman Division One South side. The move will enable all three of AFC Wimbledon's goalkeepers to get regular match practice. He can be recalled at any time in the event of an injury or suspension for Ross Standen.

It has also been confirmed that Sean Daly has played his last game for the club. He never fully recovered from a shin injury earlier this season and has decided to call time on his Dons career. He has since turned out for Colliers Wood United. In all, Daly made 24 starts for AFC Wimbledon, with one further appearance as substitute, and scored one goal.

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Wednesday 07 April 2004
first team news
Squad named for Coney Hall

NICKY English has named the following squad for tomorrow's Premier Challenge Cup semi-final against Coney Hall at Sutton United's Gander Green Lane Ground:

Ross Standen, Danny Oakins, Matt Everard, Jamie Angell, Darren Dobinson, Lewis Taylor, Paul Quinn, Simon Bassey, Lee Sidwell, Seb Favata, Gavin Bolger, Ryan Gray, Andy Sullivan, Jamie Taylor, Kevin Cooper, Jones Bamfo.

And Nicky is expecting a tough test:
"It's going to be a difficult game. Semi-finals always are. We have to be at our best to win, but if we play as we can I'm confident we can do it. If we slip from our best, they are capable of beating us. I think they are a top three or four side in our division equivalent, looking at their cup results against higher opposition in this cup and in others, such as their narrow defeat to Carshalton. We have to keep our confidence and our patience to prevail but I think we will do so."

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Monday 05 April 2004
club news
Safety Announcement

ON last Wednesday evening, a planning meeting was held re the semi-final replay versus Coney Hall, which is to be held at Sutton United?s ground, next Thursday 8 April. The planning meeting was attended by representatives of the league?s management committee, Coney Hall FC, AFC Wimbledon, the police, football safety specialists and representatives of Sutton United, who are managing security on behalf of the league.

Everyone present was committed to ensuring that the replay is completed without incident. Therefore the aim of the meeting was to minimise the risk of any problems but to ensure that sufficient stewards and police are present if they should arise.

The possible problems were explored very thoroughly and our representatives were pleased with the approach that is being taken. Some fans may feel that it is a little heavy-handed but we do not apologise for that, as spectator safety is paramount.

The following notice of arrangements for the game was prepared by Sutton United?s representatives. We urge you to read it and to follow its directions.

The planning group has done everything it can to ensure a safe and secure environment at the replay. Please contribute to an incident-free evening by avoiding any problems if they arise.

The statement reads as follows:

Following discussions with the Combined Counties League and the local police, it has been decided that crowd segregation will be applied to this match.

Coney Hall supporters will be in the Collingwood Road end of the stadium, including half of the main stand. They must enter either through the turnstiles leading from Collingwood Recreation Ground, or by the entrance alongside the main stand leading from the car park.

AFC Wimbledon supporters will be in the Gander Green Lane end of the stadium, including half of the main stand. They must enter through the turnstiles leading from Gander Green Lane.
Coaches bringing Coney Hall supporters must drop their passengers in Collingwood Road, and then park in the Kimpton Road Industrial Estate (off Gander Green Lane).

The Allders Lounge bar will be open for spectators from 6.00pm and will shut at 7.30pm. It will remain closed during the game and will not be re-opened afterwards. The Players? Bar will be reserved for players and officials and members of SUFC Stadium Club.

No alcoholic drinks will be allowed outside of the bar area.

Spectators will not be permitted to bring glass bottles into the stadium. In conjunction with the police, male and female stewards will be conducting random bag searches at the turnstiles. The cooperation of spectators in this regard will be greatly welcomed.

All spectators are politely requested to arrive in good time and not wait until 7.45, in order that the game can kick-off at the advertised time. Thank you for your assistance. The gates will open at 6.30 pm and admission is 8 for adults and 4 for juniors and senior citizens.

Any person believed to be under the influence of drink or drugs, or behaving in an aggressive or abusive manner will be ejected from the ground.

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Friday 02 April 2004
first team news
Nicky names squad

NICKY English has named the following squad for tomorrow's trip to Woking's Kingfield Stadium to play Westfield:

Ross Standen, Danny Oakins, Lewis Taylor, Jamie Angell, Paul Quinn, Darren Dobinson, Lee Sidwell, Andy Sullivan, Seb Favata, Gavin Bolger, Simon Bassey, Ryan Gray, Jones Bamfo, Jamie Taylor, Shane Small-King, Kevin Cooper.

Steve Gibson is sidelined with a pulled stomach muscle and is expected to be out for up to four weeks. Matt Everard is unavailable, owing to a long-booked-up prior commitment to spending the weekend in Barcelona. He will be back for the semi-final next week. Gareth Graham is suffering from flu and so will not be in either the first team or reserve team squad.

And Nicky does not expect this game to be as comfortable as the 7-2 Vase win:
"It will be tougher than that. When they came to Kingsmeadow, they worked out a way to defend and to stop us scoring so many and always kept people back. We won 3-0 but it was never relaxed. They worked very hard, exactly as Horley did on Wednesday.

"That said, I think Horley was among our worst performances of the season. A lot of people have said they rated Southall last Saturday as one of the best performances they've seen from us and it was certainly well up there, but then on Wednesday in truth we were poor. We were too predictable and slow, the pace wasn't good and too many people played as individuals. Horley did well, but we should have done better.

"But Woking is one of the best pitches in the area, so we will look to attack as we always do and score as many goals as we can. I won't hesitate to change things around if I think people are going through the motions. Playing well and keeping performance levels up is what winning a double is all about. It does feel like we've been working towards this title for a very long time and it's starting to prey on people's minds now. It's nearly in our grasp."

The probable relegation of what used to be Wimbledon FC is not something that Nicky is worrying about particularly:
"Sky Sports asked me about that in the week, and I know the fans are obviously going to react if they go down on Saturday, as everyone expects them to. But in all honesty there's so much going on here ? I'm too busy worrying about the team and what's going to happen with the manager's job here to think about them. I do have some sympathy for some of the players there, but Wimbledon FC going down and us going up is a kind of vindication for the fans in what they did. The people who run and ran Wimbledon FC have had their noses rubbed in it over the last two years, and who would feel sorry for them? No-one does after the way they have conducted themselves. But them going down is not a shock, it's been coming for a long time and we're much more focused on what we have to achieve before the end of the season."

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Friday 02 April 2004
club news
New management structure

Chairman Kris Stewart writes:

I said in recent programme notes that I would update you with progress on what we are expecting from a First Team Manager and the structure within which he will be expected to work at AFC Wimbledon.

At a meeting of football staff on Monday evening, the structure for Football Management was finalised. A Football Management Team has been formed, comprising the First Team Manager, a Medical and Fitness Leader, the Club Secretary, a DT Youth / CFS representative and the new post of Football Support Manager, alongside me as Chairman of the club.

The First Team Manager will be responsible for all aspects of playing and coaching the senior mens' teams at the club, with overall responsibility for all senior staff and players.

The Medical and Fitness Leader will be responsible for all sports therapy and medical issues. John Harris, Sports Therapist with the club since our rebirth, will take on this role.

Club Secretary Trevor Williams will take the lead in all football administration.

We have invited a representative of the DT Youth & Community Football Scheme to meetings as well, so that overall policy is coherent between youth and senior teams.

To support the new structure, we have created the new role of Football Support Manager. This role is primarily one of support and advice, for me as club chairman and for the other members of the Football Management Team. The role will also include deputising when management or coaching staff are unavailable.

Until the end of the current season, Lee Dobinson and Steve Brindley have taken on this role jointly, without pay. We will then review the situation over the summer. As part of this role, Lee is currently assisting Nicky on matchdays in the changing room and on the bench, and Steve has helped with scouting and signing recent arrivals including keeper Ross Standen and striker Jamie Taylor.

To be clear, and given his current role, Lee will not be taking any part in advising on the suitability or otherwise of any candidate for the First Team Manager's post.

Lee Dobinson was manager at Raynes Park Vale before coming to AFC Wimbledon to watch his son Darren play. Steve Brindley has helped out with scouting and some coaching duties this season, having previously played and managed in non-league football.

I hope this gives you an understanding of the way the football side of the club will be structured as we continue to grow. We are confident it shows that we are learning the required lessons about the need for clearly defined roles on the football side and improved communication between football-oriented aspects of AFC Wimbledon and the Dons Trust. Where we have interests in common, we will continue to liaise closely with AFC Wimbledon Ladies.

I will update you further on the progress we are making towards appointing a permanent manager as soon as possible.

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Thursday 01 April 2004
first team news
Prices stay the same

FOLLOWING last night's meeting with League officials, we have been made aware of the following details for the re-staged Premier Challenge Cup Semi final at Sutton United's Gander Green Lane against Coney Hall on Thursday 8 April, kick off 7.45pm.

Tickets will cost 8 for adults and 4 for children, with no supplement for seats. The ground will be segregated and a match programme produced by the league will be on sale for 1.

The League have also confirmed that George Snee, Jones Bamfo and Jamie Taylor are eligible for selection for this match.

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Thursday 01 April 2004
club news
Two disciplinary matters

AFC Wimbledon have been charged with failing to control our players as a result of an incident at the end of the FA Vase match v Colne. The club has admitted the charge and requested a personal hearing, at which we will enter mitigating circumstances, explaining that our players were severely provoked by racist abuse. AFC Wimbledon accept that provocation may explain misconduct but does not excuse it, we have therefore reminded our players that conduct from opponents that would be inexcusable in the street or in a club MUST be ignored by players when they encounter it in the context of a match.

Jim Sturman QC, of 2 Bedford Row Chambers, has agreed to advise the club in this matter and represent us at the hearing with the FA at no cost to us. Jim is a barrister with extensive experience in this area having acted for Chelsea Football Club, Carlo Cudicini, Dennis Wise, Graeme Le Saux, Celestine Babayaro, Joe Cole, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Gus Poyet and Mauricio Taricco. He has also acted for the Football Association in relation to charges brought against Roy Keane, Dennis Bergkamp and Graham Souness, Arsenal Football Club, Ryan Giggs and Christian Ronaldo.

Meanwhile, the follow is an extract from Chairman Kris Stewart's notes in the programme for the Horley Town match last night:

"I think enough has already been written about the failings in the organisation of the original match down at Hayes Lane, except of course that we will need to explain the lessons we have learned and how we might approach things differently in future. But I will say that we will be working very closely with the CCL, the police, Sutton United and Coney Hall to make sure that those who do choose to go to the second match can do so in safety.

"It does have to be said that, however bad the arrangements were for the match at Hayes Lane, it was still down to us as supporters to ensure that our behaviour was decent. I know that almost all Dons supporters did just that, but there were many reports on the night and since that a very small number of our people behaved appallingly.

"As a result of our investigations into that behaviour, we have written to two supporters asking them to explain their actions and suspending them from attendance at our matches here unless and until that behaviour can be explained reasonably. We are continuing to investigate at least two other supporters and if anyone has any information which you haven't yet told us about, please do, as soon as possible. The safety of supporters at all of our matches is very important to us, as is the well-deserved reputation of Wimbledon supporters for being among the best in the country. We will do everything within our powers to ensure that our safety and our reputation are protected."

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Thursday 01 April 2004
first team news
Swtich on

FOLLOWING discussions with AFC Wallingford, the Combined Counties Premier League management committee has agreed that the game on Saturday 8 May will be played at Kingsmeadow.

Arrangements for the sale of tickets and the prices for the game will be published soon. However, we can announce that, because the game will be an away game for AFC Wimbledon, season ticket holders in the Main Stand cannot be guaranteed their usual seats.

As part of the arrangement with AFC Wallingford, we will receive a share of the gate money.

AFC Wallingford have posted a longer press release, explaining the reasons why they proposed that the game should be transferred to Kingsmeadow. This can be read at www.afcwallingford.co.uk

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