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Sunday 31 August 2008
dons trust news
September board meeting

The agenda for the September board meeting, to be held on Monday 1 September, is as follows:

1. Attendance and apologies for absence

2. Minutes of the board meeting on 7 July

3. The board’s top priorities

4. Agenda for the SGM in October

5. Formal report from DT Treasurer on a £22k transfer of Trust funds to AFCW PLC (two monthly repayment instalments of the capital element of the Barclays loan) plus £10k paid in relation to new DT bonds.

6. Ladies and Girls football - new structure and 2008-09 budget proposal

7. Youth and Community football

8. First report back from the membership working group

9. Setting a new aim for improved levels of participation and plans for this winter’s elections to the board

10. Chief Executive’s reports for August and September

11. AOB

A short report of the decisions made at this meeting will be posted later this week, as well as the minutes from the July meeting.


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Sunday 31 August 2008
first team news
Terry on Bath and Braintree

Earlier this afternoon, Terry Brown told us he was satisfied with yesterday's draw at Bath, even though it meant the end of the Dons' 100% record this season.

"Looking back on yesterday's performance and result, I think that overall I am pleased. It could be a very valuable point to us in the end. I thought we played very well in patches in the first half and at half time I thought we could go on to win it. But to give credit to Bath, in the second half they really pinned us back, playing down the slope and made it difficult for us to play our normal game. Although the pitch was in good condition the grass was very long and very much a pre-season pitch, so we weren't able to move the ball around as quickly as we'd like.

"I thought it was an exciting game and they posed us several problems in the second half. Obviously, I was disappointed with both their goals, especially the second one as I felt we backed off too deep and allowed him to run the length of the pitch before striking the ball in.

"Again, looking at how few goals they conceded last year, they have a strong defence and we showed a lot of character in coming back and putting them under a lot of pressure. When the sign went up for five minutes of added time, I can assure you that I was the happier manager of the two.

"The team tends to start each half slowly. During this period we try to play too much football without getting adjusted to the pace of the game and we end up giving away too many fouls. We need to concentrate on just going out in a frame of mind to play simple football early on and just to win our battles and match up with the opposition. We paid the price for not doing this yesterday. In every game the opposition will have a period of pressure but yesterday was the first time when the opposition has actually scored during such a period.

"I've got no complaints about the result and we showed that even when we are down we've got the character to play a lot of football. I was particularly pleased on Saturday with our travelling support and one of the Bath players commented on how positive the fans were, even when we were down. So, many thanks to all those who travelled up.

"Looking forward to going to Braintree, any visit to Essex on a Tuesday night is likely to be a difficult one, especially on the back of their fine win against Team Bath on Saturday. Braintree have had a slow start to the season but they should have beaten Chelmsford in midweek, which obviously gave them confidence for Saturday's game.

"Before yesterday I would have settled for four points out of the two away games and therefore we will be going out for all three points on Tuesday. Lee Paterson's sides are always committed and if we allow them they will look to play good football.

"As far as we are concerned, I don't envisage too many changes. On the injury front we have Luke Garrard who suffered an ankle injury on Saturday and Kennedy Adjei who had a groin strain. I am hoping that both will be fit and well to play on Tuesday. I don't envisage making any unnecessary changes, although it would be nice to give Chris Sullivan a run out against his previous team."


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Sunday 31 August 2008
first team news
Inns rescues point for Dons from hot Bath

A late goal from Alan Inns, his first for the club, maintained the Dons’ unbeaten record and kept their two-point lead at the top of the table.

In a match played in warm sunshine Wimbledon failed to display some of the quality football played in earlier games. They took the lead after 19 minutes when Elliott Godfrey arrived at the near post to get on the end of Sam Hatton’s cross and steer the ball past goalkeeper, Steve Perrin.

Goals from substitute Martin Paul after 49 minutes and right back Gethin Jones after 71 minutes put the home team ahead before Inns latched on to Godfrey’s cross after 85 minutes and stroked the ball home just inside the far post. With only one team likely to go on and get a winner the Dons came very close but Jason Goodliffe was unable to convert Hatton’s cross in injury time.

Terry Brown was pleased that a good hard point had been won against a team that had already taken points off both Maidenhead United and Team Bath. “I thought you had to hand credit to Bath who battered us in the early part of the second half and were able to score two goals during that spell. My team however showed considerable character having gone behind. The side never give up and got a deserved equaliser. They kept going right to the end but didn’t quite have the legs to go on and secure victory”.



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Thursday 28 August 2008
first team news
Terry looks forward to Saturday's game at Bath

The Dons take the road to Bath on Saturday seeking to extend their 100% record so far this season. Bath have had an uneven start, without a win at home and yet they are the only team to take a point off early leaders Team Bath and also Maidenhead United.

After their heavy defeat at home to Welling on the first day of the season, Bath are unbeaten but are finding goals a little bit hard to come by, with two of their four to date coming from the penalty spot.

A well-organised defence led Bath to being the team with the lowest goals conceded in the Blue Square South last season, but they finished no higher than eighth due to their low goals-for tally. Since the first game of this season when they conceded four goals at home to Welling, Bath have resumed this frugality and conceded only one goal, at home to Team Bath. Jon Main is the equal top scorer in the league, but it looks as if he will have a battle on his hands on Saturday if he is to add to his six goals in five games this season - depending, of course, on whether he is fit.

Given some published doubts about Main's fitness and the injury to Michael Haswell last Monday, Terry started his comments about Saturday with the latest from the treatment room.

"First of all looking forward to Saturday's game, the injury news is that Mickey Haswell is definitely out and is likely to be unavailable for between two and four weeks. The good news is that, having spoken to him today, he hasn't broken his ankle. We are not too sure at the moment how bad the ligament damage is.

"Jon Main will be having treatment on his foot tonight but Mike Rayner is confident that Jon will be fit and available for selection on Saturday. Chris Sullivan is also fit and available for selection, however he is nowhere near match fit and we might look at the possibility of giving him some game time over the next week.

"Several of the players who have been on the bench recently have played in the reserve games at Croydon and Sutton. They appear to be a long way off pushing for a place at the moment and I shall expect an improvement over the next couple of weeks.

"The Bath game offers us another opportunity of a pleasant drive up the M4 playing against a good side within a professional set up. Our scout watched them beat Worcester and was very impressed, in particular with their first half performance. It is a game that will tell us a little bit more about our current crop of young players. I am looking forward to playing Bath on Saturday as well as playing other teams from the top half of the table so that we can ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of our side."


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Thursday 28 August 2008
club news
Bath coaches are full

All three coaches travelling to Bath City are now full. There are a few spaces available on the coach for the Braintree Town game on Tuesday 2 September.


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Thursday 28 August 2008
club news
Comedy@Kingsmeadow returns!

Comedy@Kingsmeadow and Kingsmeadow Live both return from their summer holidays in September. See below for more details.
To book tickets, call the Kingsmeadow Live hotline on 020 8547 3335.



Comedy@Kingsmeadow is back on Friday 5th September, headlined by the hilarious Gordon Southern and once again featuring award winning cuisine form Ting n’ Ting…

Comedy@Kingsmeadow presents...
Featuring Gordon Southern, Nik Coppin and Mike Manera
Friday 5th September
Admission: £12 (includes dinner)
Doors open 8pm/ show starts 9pm/ bar closes midnight



And make sure you don’t miss the return of the rudeboy, Neville Staple, on Saturday 13th September…

Neville Staple (Ex Specials)
Saturday 13th September
Admission: £12
Doors open 8pm, gig starts 9.30pm, bar closes 1am



For more information about both these gigs, visit
here.



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Wednesday 27 August 2008
club news
Arrangements for Saturday's game at Bath

We have spoken with officials at Bath City ahead of Saturday’s game and have been informed that there is a seated stand containing 236 seats which will be available for use by our fans. Advance bookings can be made by ringing the club offices at Bath City on 01225 423087 when payment will be taken by credit card. Prices are £12 for adults, £8 for seniors and £5 for under 16s.

AFC Wimbledon fans will also have use of the terrace behind one of the goals which can accommodate 1800 fans.

There are a limited number of places available on the third coach and anyone who wishes to book a seat is advised to do so quickly.



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Wednesday 27 August 2008
dons trust news
Fundraising meeting tonight

This is a reminder that fundraising activities are again ramping up for the season ahead and there is a meeting tonight, Wednesday 27 August, at 7.00 pm in the back bar at Kingsmeadow to discuss fundraising plans for the season.

Any supporters who would like to contribute ideas or expertise or to assist with fundraising projects are invited to attend. For further information - or to volunteer to help out with fundraising - please contact Mark Davis via fundraising@thedonstrust.org or leave a message with the club.


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Tuesday 26 August 2008
first team news
Terry Brown on Bromley

Terry Brown was off to watch the reserves at Sutton tonight but before he left he talked to us about yesterday's fifth win in five league games.

"I hope you all enjoyed Monday's exciting encounter against Bromley. I thought Mark's side came here to play football and it certainly made for an entertaining encounter. I am sure Mark will feel slightly aggrieved that they didn't score more than one goal on the day, as they managed to carve out several good chances. At the other end we also carved out numerous chances and after watching the DVD it was evident that the game was flowing from end to end.

"Bromley's attacking play will allow us to work on several different aspects of defending during the coming week, as they exposed one or two weaknesses on the day. Our play going forward was extremely effective in as much as we were creating chances and it was very pleasing to see Jon Main recapture his goalscoring boots as he was unfortunate on several occasions against Basingstoke and again on Monday. Jon's personality as much as his ability ensures that he doesn't worry about any of his misses and he is never afraid to put himself back in the firing line. His six goals in five games are no more than I would expect him to get at this level and I hope the knock he received after the third goal doesn't stop him playing on Saturday. The initial prognosis is that he has bruised his foot and we believe at this stage there is nothing broken.

"His partner in crime up front has been equally effective. Tony Finn is producing regularly the type of performance we know he is capable of and it is a real pleasure to see him in full flight scoring the type of goals he has scored this season. The midfield of our side is also the creative department within the team. I've been delighted with the work rate and their quality on the ball. I do however feel I need more of a contribution as far as goals are concerned from our midfield. As a footballing side we have to be careful not to lose sight of the physical demands required and therefore over the next couple of weeks Stuart and I will be working on set pieces in both boxes.

"Playing a Monday fixture offers us the opportunity for the boys to take a well-earned rest and a light session on Thursday night should see them well prepared for the trip to Bath on Saturday."


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Tuesday 26 August 2008
club news
Coaches to Bath and Braintree

We are taking bookings for a third fans' coach for the game at Bath this Saturday, 30 August. There are spaces still available but please hurry if you want to book, as we won't be running a fourth one. The coach will leave the Woodman pub at 10.30 am and Kingsmeadow at 11.00 am.

We also have enough bookings to justify a coach to Braintree on Tuesday 2 September. This coach will leave the Woodman pub at 4.30 pm and Kingsmeadow at 5.00 pm.

All coach travel this season is at a flat rate of £10 and can be booked by calling the office on 020 8547 3528 between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on weekdays or, if you live nearby, by coming in to the office during those hours.


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Monday 25 August 2008
club news
Engineering work affects rail services to Kingsmeadow for the Bromley game

This is to remind fans that engineering work will affect all rail services to Kingston/Norbiton on Monday 25 August, the day of the Bromley game.

There are NO trains from New Malden to Kingston. Extra services will run from Waterloo - Hampton Court with a replacement bus service from New Malden. There will be about 4 trains/buses) per hour.

Alternatively passengers can travel to/from Raynes Park then catch the 131 bus to Kingsmeadow.

For more information check southwest trains or national rail.


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Sunday 24 August 2008
dons trust news
Fundraising at the Bromley game

In addition to the usual collection points outside the club shop and at the Dons Trust table in the back bar, there will be volunteers collecting loose change just inside the turnstiles at the fixture against Bromley on Monday. So, if you have any loose change you are able to donate to the Dons Trust fundraising effort, please do bring it along to the game.

Also, if you have not yet signed up for the Dons Draw and wish to do so, please come along to the back bar, where a volunteer will be on hand to assist you in completing the form. Please remember to bring your bank account details with you. For further details of the Dons Draw, see here or by clicking here.



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Sunday 24 August 2008
club news
Arrangements for the Bromley game

Food and bar opening times

Both bars will open at noon tomorrow, with hot food available in the back bar from noon. As previously announced, highlights of the Thurrock game will be shown in the back bar at 1.30 pm, 2.00 pm and 2.30 pm.

Entrance to the terraces

The turnstile arrangements will be the same as for the Bognor game, namely that tickets can be bought by going through the turnstiles at the Kingston Road end but fans will then be asked to come back out of the ground and enter via the gates from Jack Goodchild Way. The turnstiles at the Tempest End will operate normally.

As usual, turnstiles will open at about 2.00 pm, once ground safety checks are complete.

Segregation

Please note that Bromley fans will be allocated the northern end of the John Smith stand and segregation will be more rigorously enforced than at recent games which had smaller away followings. As a result, Wimbledon fans who want to enter the John Smith stand will only be able to do so from the Tempest End.

The portaloo toilets and the burger trailer at the Kingston Road end will be available to Dons fans in the Kingston Road end, as well as to Bromley fans, subject to any changes that the stewards or police may require.

Season ticket holders

With the new part of the Paul Strank stand due to open on 13 September, the arrangements for season ticket holders in blocks K and L remain unchanged from the previous games - please collect your replacement tickets from the complimentary tickets window.

New applicants may leave their forms and payment at the complimentary tickets window. Fans who do so before the game will be given a matchday ticket and their ST books will be mailed to them before the next home game.

Seats

Availability of seats on the day depends on whether we get more ST voucher returns before the game.


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Sunday 24 August 2008
club news
Thurrock highlights to be shown before the Bromley game

Before tomorrow's Blue Square South league game against Bromley we will be showing highlights from the recent home game against Thurrock FC.

The highlights last ten minutes and will be shown at 1.30 pm, 2.00 pm and again at 2.30 pm in the back bar.

We are working on internet access to edited highlights of our games but, until that is available, we will endeavour to show highlights in this way.


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Sunday 24 August 2008
first team news
Terry on Basingstoke and Bromley

Terry Brown was taking a brief break between games on this holiday weekend when we spoke to him this morning.

"I am very proud of our performance on Saturday. For the first half we played some of the best football we've played since I've been here. I thought we were a little bit unlucky to go in at half time only 1-0 up. I think on another day Jon Main would have got a hat-trick and I was particularly delighted with the football we played and the chances we created.

"We spoke at half time about the fact that there was no way we were going to have as much possession in the second half as the first and that the priority in the second half was to make sure we didn't concede any goals. At any level of football you are unlikely to dominate the game for 90 minutes and I think Frank Gray certainly got his tactics right for the second half and stoped us playing as well as we had been.

"However, we still managed to carve out opportunities in the second half and, on another day, I think we would have won by at least two or three. Our positive start to the season has given the players the opportuntiy to express themselves on the pitch although we are aware we have to work harder on set pieces in particular.

"It is a lovely position for me to be in where I don't have to make any changes to the side - the only change made on Saturday was enforced by Mickey Haswell's late arrival after being stuck in traffic. At the moment the side is playing attractive winning football and as a manager you couldn't ask for more than that. The only real worry that we have at the moment is lack of cover in forward areas should we pick up an injury to Jon Main or Tony Finn. However, with every week that goes by both Chris Sullivan and Belal Aiteouakrim are making good progress back to full fitness.

"The support on Saturday was fantastic and I know especially that the new players who have arrived this season can't quite believe how good our home and travelling support is. It makes a big difference and the players are certainly enjoying their football and the support at the moment.

"Bank Holiday Monday's fixture offers us a chance to play against our local rivals Bromley who, I'm sure, will be buoyed by a fantastic win against Eastleigh. Hopefully we will be able to choose from an unchanged squad as keeping our players fit will be vital this year.

"Before the game I will be emphasising the need to share our goals around the side. We don't want to be one-dimensional by relying too much on Jon Main's goals. For all our good football on Saturday we only managed to get the winner via an own goal. I am sure Tony and Jon will score their fair share of goals but I need more shots on target from our midfield.

"Finally, I know the team are looking forward to playing in front of a bumper crowd tomorrow getting behind them again."


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Saturday 23 August 2008
first team news
Dons on top

Wimbledon maintained their 100% record as they moved two points clear at the top of the Blue Square South.

The 1 – 0 victory over Basingstoke Town was more convincing than the score line suggests, with the Dons in control for almost the whole game, and only their failure to convert a number of good chances prevented a bigger winning margin.

The goal when it came, after 19 minutes, was set up by Jon Main who picked up the ball midway in the opposition’s half. From a standing start, Main outpaced the Basingstoke defender to race into the box and shot left footed across the goalkeeper Ross Kitteridge. Although the shot was not goal-bound, Sam Hatton was making good ground at the far post but before the ball could reach him, defender Ross Watkins managed to bundle the ball into his own goal as he attempted to clear.

As in their previous games, the Dons played some delightful football, with Main coming close to increasing the lead in the first half when his shot went inches wide of the post, and, in the second half his header, from Chris Hussey’s free kick, struck the inside of the post and rebounded into play. Goalkeeper Andy Little and the defence were rarely tested, and with Bromley defeating previously unbeaten Eastleigh, the game on Bank Holiday Monday at Kingsmeadow against Bromley is nicely set up.

A full report will appear later.



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Saturday 23 August 2008
reserve team news
Reserve match postponed

Today's reserve game at Chalfont St Peter has been postponed as the pitch at Mill Meadow is double booked. The fixture will be re-arranged in due course.


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Saturday 23 August 2008
ladies news
Officials wanted

The ladies team urgently needs an assistant referee to run the line at tomorrow afternoon's match against Wandgas (14.00 at Corinthian Casuals F.C.). This is a paid appointment and requires knowledge of the game and enthusiasm rather than any formal qualification.

The girls teams are also looking for referee's for Sunday morning and afternoon fixtures throughout the season. Novices to experienced referees considered. Again, these are paid appointments.

Please contact the ladies secretary, John Ivers, on 07719 074908 if you can help out.


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Friday 22 August 2008
club news
Season ticket update

We have now sold every seat in blocks D - H, the higher priced blocks, as season ticket sales cruised past our previous best total sales during this week. To date we have had 1,585 applicants of which four were invalid, most notably the lady who returned her ST book after realising it didn't qualify her for next summer's tennis.

Seats are still available in the Paul Strank stand, mainly in blocks A and L. We owe an apology to fans applying for block L - initially we planned to make the rake of those seats steeper than the rest of the stand but it became apparent that if we did that then some fans' views would be obstructed. As a result, the new part of the stand has been built at the same angle as the other seats.

To apply for a season ticket, you should click on ST applications and follow the guidance.


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Friday 22 August 2008
club news
Please return your season ticket vouchers for the Bromley game

Due to high demand for our major league game on Monday against old rivals Bromley, we are very short of seats.

If you aren't coming to the game, please will you email us at the club office or call 020 8547 3528 with details of your season ticket, so that we can help someone else to watch the game from a seat.

If you have a terrace season ticket and don't plan to use it on Monday, please notify us - we can reclaim the VAT on it, so long as we hear from you before the game.


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Friday 22 August 2008
club news
Update on Fans' Coaches

Basingstoke: The coach is now full.

Bath City: The first coach is full and bookings are already being taken for the second coach. The coaches will pick up at The Woodman at 10.30 am and Kingsmeadow at 11.00 am. Fans are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Braintree Town: Provided there are a sufficient number of bookings, a supporter's coach will run for this game on Tuesday 2 September. It will pick up from the Woodman at 4.30 pm and Kingsmeadow at 5.00 pm.

Places can be reserved on the coach at a cost of £10 at the complimentary tickets window both before and after the game against Bromley on Monday. Alternatively, bookings can be made by contacting the club office on 020 8547 3528 during normal office hours


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Thursday 21 August 2008
first team news
Terry looks ahead to Saturday

With three wins under their belts, the Dons set off down the M3 to Basingstoke on Saturday, to play a team that has drawn its three games so far this season. 'The Stoke' started by holding last year's play off finalists, Hampton & Richmond Borough, on the opening day of the season, conceding a late equaliser and having Sean Hankin sent off - he will miss Saturday's game as a result.

After a hard-earned scoreless draw at Dorchester, Basingstoke went to Welling and stopped the home team registering their third successive win, each side's goal coming in the first half. So now Terry Brown is looking to break their run of draws by inflicting their first defeat of the season at The Camrose.

Terry started by talking to us about the preparations for the game. "After a wonderful first week we have taken the advantage of two gentle training sessions where we have worked on the tactical side of our play. We are very pleased with the players' fitness and I think we have looked the stronger team in the last half hour of every game.

"Saturday's game offers us a different challenge. Basingstoke are a big strong side who have yet to either win or lose a game. They will no doubt look to cause us problems on set pieces and we shall have to work hard to keep our first clean sheet of this season.

"It is too early in the season to know if the sides we have played so far will be in the top half of the league. Therefore I can assure you that everyone at the club firmly has their feet on the ground about our good start. The next two games will tell us a bit more about our own side and the strength of the Blue Square South.

"The current squad has benefitted from the week's rest and we should be able to add our skipper, Jason Goodliffe, to the squad for Saturday. Chris Sullivan has had a couple of reserve games this week and will soon be nearing match fitness. I don't envisage making many changes for Saturday and, hopefully, barring injury or a heavy defeat the squad should remain intact over the weekend.

"Lewis Taylor is now back on his feet and will soon start rehab with Mike Rayner. Although Lewis will be watching rather than playing most of this season, let's hope that he is back to have a say in our end of season run in."

Looking forward to the game itself, we understand that there should be plenty of seating for all those who want it. We also understand that the fans will not be segregated and police will not be in attendance inside the ground. Meanwhile, Basingstoke's fans are planning to welcome Wimbledon fans with this season's first issue of their fanzine, "Terrace Blues", which will feature interviews with a number of Dons supporters.

Basingstoke play in yellow and blue, so the Dons will be turning out in white on Saturday.


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Thursday 21 August 2008
club news
Kidsfest 2008- UPDATED

*Haydon the Womble will be introduced on stage at Kidsfest at 12.30 pm*


AFC Wimbledon is delighted to announce that we have been invited to take part in Kidsfest 2008 at Merton Abbey Mills this weekend.
This year, Kidsfest helps to mark the start of four years of cultural and sporting events leading up to the Olympic Games being held in London in 2012.
There will be a wide range of activities aimed at kids of all ages, including art and craft workshops, music, dancing, singing, a visit from the local fire brigade and lots more.
The club will be represented by Haydon the Womble, who will also help launch the sale of his new, larger replica, and the Community Football Scheme, who will be entertaining kids with all sorts of football related activities.
This is a great opportunity to promote the club among the local community so we would like to encourage everyone to support this event by turning up in your club colours.
Volunteers are needed to hep distribute information and man stalls for a couple of hours so if you have some time to spare on Sunday, please come down to Merton Abbey Mills between 10.45am and 4pm.
Admission is free and there are a wide range of catering facilities available including Ting N’ Ting, who provide the fantastic Caribbean cuisine for our monthly comedy club.



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Tuesday 19 August 2008
club news
Kingsmeadow Live is back with a bang!

Comedy@Kingsmeadow and Kingsmeadow Live both return from their summer holidays in September. See below for more details.
To book tickets, call the Kingsmeadow Live hotline on 020 8547 3335.



Comedy@Kingsmeadow is back on Friday 5th September, headlined by the hilarious Gordon Southern and once again featuring award winning cuisine form Ting n’ Ting…

Comedy@Kingsmeadow presents...
Featuring Gordon Southern, Nik Coppin and Mike Manera
Friday 5th September
Admission: £12 (includes dinner)
Doors open 8pm/ show starts 9pm/ bar closes midnight



And make sure you don’t miss the return of the rudeboy, Neville Staple, on Saturday 13th September…

Neville Staple (Ex Specials)
Saturday 13th September
Admission: £12
Doors open 8pm, gig starts 9.30pm, bar closes 1am



For more information about both these gigs, visit
here.



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Tuesday 19 August 2008
club news
Volunteer needed

The commercial department is looking for a volunteer to distribute fixture lists around Wimbledon Town Centre. This will involve dropping fixture lists in around 15 cafes, bars and restaurants between the end of The Broadway, where it becomes Merton Rd, and the bottom of Wimbledon Hill Rd.
If you have a coupe of hours to spare one afternoon over the next week or so, please call Keith McGuinness in the commercial department on 020 8547 3336 or e-mail
here.


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Tuesday 19 August 2008
club news
Last few remaining seats on Basingstoke coach

There are just a handful of places left on the supporters' coach travelling to Basingstoke on Saturday and anyone who is thinking of going by coach should contact the club office on 020 8547 3528 as soon as possible.

It is also possible to book seats for the coach travelling to Bath on 30 August which will be picking up from the Woodman at 10.30 am and Kingsmeadow at 11.00 am. Cost is £10.


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Monday 18 August 2008
first team news
Terry on Bognor

Terry Brown was very pleased with another win in the last ten minutes on Saturday.

"Saturday's game was our third in seven days and several of our boys looked a little on the tired side after Tuesday's exhilarating late win. Bognor came and surprised us a little with a one-up-front formation, which is one I believe several clubs will adopt when coming here.

"They crowded out midfield and made passing a little more difficult than Tuesday. I was, however, pleased that the players stuck to their task and our second goal in particular was the result of a nice move and a fine piece of individual skill by Tony Finn to unlock a resolute Bognor defence.

"Dean Mason capitalised on his sheer energy and work rate to score his first goal for the club. Dean is not quite the finished article but his enthusiasm and pace caused panic in both Thurrock and Bognor's back lines and I was delighted to see him score on Saturday.

"I have had the opportunity to watch our games afterwards on the DVD and it becomes very evident that we still need to work very hard on a great many areas. Although we lack a target man to offer us the ability to hold the ball up, we gain in other areas with Tony playing well and feeding Jon Main several chances. It has been very pleasing that over the last couple of games it has not just been the starting eleven that has won us the game. The importance of the squad has been demonstrated in us gaining maximum points in those games.

"It will be interesting to see how this particular side reacts when we lose a game. The character I have seen so far would suggest that this squad will have the ability to bounce back. Playing football is a lot easier when you are winning games than when you are losing and we shall have to see how the players react during adversity.

"Saturday also saw the first 90 minutes football of the season for Chris Sullivan. Having come through it unscathed he will take part in Wednesday's home reserve team game** which will also include James Pullen, Stevie Gilbert, Michael Peacock, Chris Hussey, Luke Pigden and Dean Mason.

"Apart from these players, who will get a necessary run out, we only have injury doubts now to Jason Goodliffe (a calf pull) and Belal Aiteouakrim. Belal has a back problem that seems to affect various other parts of his body, but he is responding well, if a little slowly, to treatment."

** Home reserve games are played at Croydon Athletic's ground.


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Sunday 17 August 2008
dons trust news
Dons Draw results for August

The August Dons Draw took place yesterday morning at Kingsmeadow.

Winning numbers were drawn in the presence of Dean Parsons (Dons Trust board member), Varney Constantinou (Dons and Neil Messenbird (Dons Draw Treasurer).

The winning ticket numbers and prizes were as follows:

First prize of £1,000 - ticket 1000 – Iain Worley from Morden
Second prize of £500 - ticket 1772 – Mark Randall from Gateshead
Third prize of £175 - ticket 1769 – Justin Sythes from London
Fourth prize of £75 - ticket 0543 - Clive Morton from New Malden

Congratulations to all four prize winners. The 3rd and 4th prizes were increased from last month and we expect to incease them further next month....

The next Dons Draw will take place on or after 15 September 2008 with the results being posted on the AFC Wimbledon official web site soon after the draw has taken place.

If you want a chance of winning next month’s jackpot, but, still haven’t entered, or if you have already entered the draw but would like to increase your chances of winning by taking a few more numbers, then why not do so now?

You can sign up online to the Dons Draw or download an application here or to increase your tickets email us here.

The deadline for new entrants to the September 2008 Dons Draw is 8.00 pm on Sunday 31 August.

Any questions you may have can be answered by contacting the Dons Draw team here or by clicking here.


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Saturday 16 August 2008
club news
The Dons win again

Two goals in the last five minutes gave the Dons their third consecutive league win.

Wimbledon took the lead after 24 minutes when Tony Finn volleyed home after a cross from Elliott Godfrey was partially headed clear. The visitors equalised on the stroke of half time when a long cross to the far post found Simon Jackson who headed home.

The home support had to wait a long time for further goals but after 88 minutes Jon Main slipped the ball past goalkeeper Darren Behcet after Finn had ghosted past a couple of defenders and laid the ball into Main's path. The result was put beyond doubt when Dean Mason exchanged passes with Godfrey and scored his debut goal in added time.

We caught up with Terry as he reflected on the past week. “Last Saturday morning I would have settled for six points from our opening three games and during the game today I would have settled for seven. To come away with nine points is more than we could have hoped for. To gain a victory after not playing that well is something we will have to do during the season if we are to maintain our present level.

“The boys were tired today and it was made difficult for us with a heavy and very slow pitch. Bognor played with one man up front, squeezed on and stopped us playing. The good news is that Chris Sullivan and Belel Aiteouakrim are getting closer to fitness and they will add another dimension to the team. I was delighted with Dean Mason who made a real difference when he came on and was very pleased that he was able to score his first goal for the club”.



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Friday 15 August 2008
club news
Arrangements for the Bognor game, including season ticket collection

Things get started early at Kingsmeadow tomorrow, with food on sale in the back bar from shortly after noon, leading up to our third league game in the Blue Square South against Bognor Regis.

We recommend that fans arrive early because the queues for the terraces, and especially for the complimentary tickets window (see below), are likely to be long.

Food and drink in the bars

In addition to food going on sale shortly after noon, both the middle and back bars will open at noon.

After the game, the back bar will be open until 5.30 pm, when it will close to allow staff to clean the room before an evening function. However, fans can transfer into the main bar which will open straight after the game and stay open well into the evening, subject to demand.

Food inside the ground

As usual, the Tempest End tea bar and 'the tea pot', in the corner of the Tempest End and John Smith stands, will be open. There will also be a fully operative burger bar at the Kingston Road end, situated just outside the ground behind the John Smith stand.

Ground opening, segregation and sale of seat tickets

As usual, the turnstiles to the terraces will open once safety checks are completed, which will be at about 2.00 pm. As on Tuesday night, the Kingston Road turnstiles will be open with fans asked to buy their tickets, go out again and then enter via the gates that open onto Jack Goodchild Way.

There will be informal segregation in place, with Bognor fans asked to congregate in the northern end of the John Smith stand. Wimbledon fans will be able to move through that area, so long as the safety officer is satisfied about safety.

We will put any available seats on sale from the kiosk in the lobby from about 2.00 pm - whether or not we do this will depend on the number of returned season ticket vouchers. Please note that prices for blocks D - H are higher than for blocks A - C and J.

Season tickets

If you applied for a season ticket this week, then it will have been processed and you can collect it from the complimentary tickets window from about 1.45 pm. Any ST books that aren't collected will be posted early next week.

If you want to apply for a season ticket on the day, then you can leave a completed application at the complimentary tickets window. If you do so before the game, we will give you a match ticket for the day and forward the ST book by post. Application forms can also be collected from the comps window.

ST holders from blocks K and L

The arrangements will be the same as on Tuesday for the Thurrock game. ST holders from blocks K and L should bring their books to the complimentary tickets window where the voucher will be removed and exchanged for a seat in another part of the Paul Strank stand.

Coach tickets for Basingstoke and Bath

Coach tickets can be booked at the complimentary tickets window for the away games at Basingstoke on 23 August and Bath City on 30 August. The cost is a flat rate £10. Departure times and other details are set out in a separate announcement, dated today, on this site.

Complimentary tickets window

Please note that the combination of a large crowd, the need for ST holders in blocks K and L to collect their exchange tickets, new ST applications, coach ticket applications, and collection of complimentary tickets, is likely to lead to long queues at times.

Please be patient but, even better, please be early.


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Friday 15 August 2008
club news
Coach travel to Basingstoke and Bath

The club will be running coaches to the games against Basingstoke Town on 23 August and Bath City on 30 August.

For the Basingstoke game, the coach will pick up at the Woodman at 12.15 pm and Kingsmeadow at 12.45 pm, and for the Bath game will pick up at the same venues at 10.30 am and 11.00 am respectively.

The price for each coach trip is £10. Places can be reserved at the complimentary tickets window before and after tomorrow's game against Bognor Regis or by contacting the club office on 020 8547 3528 during normal office hours. In view of the interest in bookings we encourage fans to reserve their place as early as possible.


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Friday 15 August 2008
first team news
Terry on Bognor

Bognor Regis Town come to The Cherry Red Records Fans' Stadium - Kingsmeadow, tomorrow, with one point from their opening two games, following a midweek draw at last year's play off finalists, Hampton & Richmond Borough. By all accounts the game at Hampton was an entertaining one and it was rather a surprise that it ended in a 0-0 draw, as there were plenty of goal-scoring opportunities for both sides, with former Don Duncan Jupp playing a big part in helping The Rocks to keep a clean sheet.

Reports from the Hampton game were that Bognor, as is their long and worthy tradition, played a passing game. Manager Terry Brown will no doubt welcome this as he too seeks to play a high tempo passing game. We asked him about it when we spoke earlier today:

"Obviously we are looking forward to Saturday's game against two old adversaries in Jack Pearce and Mick Jenkins. Yes, Bognor traditionally play really good football and I'm sure if they ever had the opportunity of larger finances they would be right up amongst the elite.

"Saturday's game should be very open and that will pose different problems to us from Thurrock on Tuesday. We had them watched in midweek and they kept a clean sheet against a very strong Hampton side. As opposed to our previous two games we will have to concentrate on stopping them playing, as well as getting our own game going.

"As far as our team is concerned, we are hopeful of having Sam Hatton back fit and available for selection and I wouldn't envisage too many changes to our starting line up at Newport. We had a very good training session on Thursday where we were able to work on forward movements and, believe it or not, although we have already had 14 training sessions this season, we are only just scratching at the surface so far as team play and formation is concerned.

"We will also be working very hard on set pieces, both attacking and defensively. We are a long way off being where I want to be on set pieces because we've put a great deal of emphasis on the pattern and shape of the team. I hope that we can continue the good start as it gives us a breathing space for when we suffer our first defeat, as we will sooner or later.

"There were many pleasing aspects in Tuesday night's victory. From the managerial side, the players showed a lot of character and I'd like say a big 'thank you' to you the supporters who showed a great deal of patience and didn't allow yourselves to get too frustrated at what will be several teams' tactics this year. I can't say it will always have such a pleasant outcome. The players have embraced the new playing style and I am sure that, in time, we will convert the most diehard supporter. So long as we win, as well as playing attractive football, of course!"


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Friday 15 August 2008
cfs news
Matchday academy

The Matchday Academy returns for the first time this season for Saturday’s game against Bognor Regis Town. The academy is held at Kingsmeadow all-weather pitches next to The Cherry Red Records Fans' Stadium before every AFC Wimbledon Saturday home game.

The academy is open to boys and girls of all abilities aged 4 – 12 and consists of varied small-sided games on state-of-the-art synthetic grass pitches. It runs from 1.00pm to 2.00pm, entry to the area is gained through the Kingsmeadow athletics stadium reception. For AFC Wimbledon season ticket holders the cost is £3 and for non season ticket holders the cost is £5.




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Thursday 14 August 2008
club news
Mascot vacancies and waiting list

We are still taking applications for mascots for this season. There are a couple of dates available in the new year, but fans can also put their name down for the waiting list, which would give them first choice for certain cup games or a cancellation.

The mascot package is for children aged 13 and below. It costs £150 and includes:

- Seat tickets for the mascot and two guests, including access to the President's Lounge and a programme for each person

- A full home kit for the mascot

- A signed photograph with the player of your choice

- A signed AFC Wimbledon football

- An option to buy a further two tickets, with access to the President's Lounge, for £25 each (but see below)

The mascot can normally enter the first-team changing room, and gets to join in the warm-up on the pitch and meet Haydon the Womble.

In place of the option to buy two further President's Lounge tickets, the standard mascot package can be extended to a second family member for an additional £50, i.e. a total cost of £200. This is available for two mascots and 3 guests, giving a total group size of five. Each mascot gets a home kit, a signed AFC Wimbledon football and a signed photograph. Please note that, should you take this option, we are unable to make available any further President's Lounge tickets to you.

To apply, please email Aideen Rochford or call the club's office on 020 8547 3528 between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on weekdays. Please send the following details:

- The mascot's name and age

- Your preferred dates

Aideen will then be in touch with you to discuss the options.


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Tuesday 12 August 2008
first team news
G men win it at the death

After a pulsating game in which the crowd had more than their monies worth the Dons came back from a first half deficit to score twice in the last 10 minutes and secure a deserved win.

The match was delayed by 15 minutes after Thurrock were delayed in traffic but it was the visitors who went ahead after 14 minutes when Rob Swaine headed a long corner back across goal and Phil Anderson prodded home from a couple of yards.

Wave after wave of attack followed from Wimbledon but goalkeeper, Andrew Young, was in fine form making several good saves. The second half followed the same pattern with the Thurrock defence working overtime to keep the home side out. With just over a quarter of an hour to go Terry Brown made the inspired substitution which was to change the game. With the emphasis on going forward Chris Hussey replaced Michael Haswell and within minutes his cross was only partially cleared and the ball fell to Elliott Godfrey who made no mistake.

With only minutes remaining a low cross from Hussey reached the far side of the box and was met by the onrushing Luke Garrard who drilled the ball home to send the crowd wild.



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Tuesday 12 August 2008
club news
Tonight's game

The pitch has been mowed and is looking superb, the white lines are being painted right now, the new nets are in place, Terry has reviewed the scout's report on Thurrock from Saturday, and we are ready for our first ever home game in the Blue Square South, tonight at 7.45.

Early arrivals will find both bars open at 6.00 pm with food being served in the back bar from that time.

The shop will also open at 6.00 pm, where the new shirts (which have had record sales) are available, along with the souvenir programme for our successful 2007-08 season and other new merchandise, notably beach towels.

The turnstiles will open at about 7.00 pm and inside the ground there will be the usual burger bar at the Tempest end; there will also be a trailer selling the usual mix of hot food and drinks at the Kingston Road end.

You can leave season ticket applications at the complimentary tickets window before and after the game, as well as booking your place on the coach to the Basingstoke game on 23 August. For more details, see yesterday's article on this site about ST applications. Details of the Basingstoke coach departure times will be posted later today - places are the same price for everyone, i.e. £10 each.


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Tuesday 12 August 2008
club news
For season ticket holders in blocks K and L

Until the work on the Strank Stand is complete, ST holders in block K, and ST holders who have been allocated to the new block (L), will not be able to occupy their usual seats.

We have arranged alternative seats for all ST holders of seats in blocks K and L. We expect that this arrangement will last for the first four home games of the season. These ST holders can collect their tickets for their temporary seating allocation at the complimentary tickets window. Please bring your ST book so that the team can remove the voucher.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


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Monday 11 August 2008
club news
Season ticket applications at the Thurrock game

Applicants who present a completed season ticket form and the relevant payment to the complimentary tickets window before the game will be given a ticket for the game.

Given the pressure on seats while we temporarily relocate fans from blocks K and L, we may not be able to offer a seat ticket to applicants for the Strank Stand tomorrow night - our ability to do so will depend on the number of vouchers which are returned before the game.

Applications will also be accepted after the game and forms for new applicants will be available at the comps window.


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Monday 11 August 2008
club news
Arrangements for entrance to the Thurrock game

The arrangements for entrance to the game against Thurrock FC on Tuesday night are as follows:

Access to the terraces Turnstiles will be open at both ends of the stadium. At the Tempest End, everything will work as usual with entrance for home fans only. At the Kingston Road end, fans should go through the turnstile to buy their tickets and they will then be asked to come out again and go round to the double gates off Jack Goodchild Way (which are usually an exit). Anyone with a terrace season ticket who wants to stand in the Kingston Road end should go straight to these gates and present their ST book for the voucher to be removed.

Access to the Strank Stand (formerly the main stand) Access will, as usual, be via the central lobby area.

Access for Thurrock fans Away fans should go through the Kingston Road turnstiles and then come out again after buying their tickets. They should then go to the gates on Jack Goodchild Way where they will be directed to their places by stewards

Standing areas Wimbledon fans will be able to stand behind the goal at either end. Thurrock fans will be allocated to that part of the John Smith stand that is nearest the Kingston Road end (i.e. the same arrangements we had for the Hornchurch game at the end of last season).

These arrangements are in place for the first time and will last until the work on the extension to the Strank Stand is complete. There may well be a few glitches, so we advise fans to take their places on the terraces earlier than usual, to avoid missing the start of the game.


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Monday 11 August 2008
club news
Disabled parking

We have had printing problems with the disabled car park passes for 2008-09. While we hope to send them out soon, they won't be ready for the Thurrock game.

Fans with disabled parking rights can still use last season's pass for the Thurrock game. If you have mislaid your pass, the steward should still have a list of authorised people and should be able to accommodate you.

A disabled parking pass gives its owner priority for parking in the allocated area but, due to heavy demand, it does not guarantee a place, so please arrive as early as you can.


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Monday 11 August 2008
first team news
Terry on Newport

Terry Brown was still enjoying Saturday's performance and result when we spoke to him earlier today.

"I hope everybody enjoyed their weekend trip to Wales. Owing to the generosity of one of our supporters we were able to travel up in luxury on the Friday and stay in a first class hotel in Cardiff. This meant that we had no excuses and were fully prepared to do battle on the first day of the season.

"We spoke to the players at great length about how we thought the game would pan out and although we wish to play passing football the first game was never going to be all about that. On Saturday the team fought and scrapped, sometimes rather nervously for the first 30 minutes and gradually, as everybody on both sides drew breath, we were able to get the ball down in midfield.

"Prior to our goal we created a couple of good chances for Jon Main and I thought this calmed us down. Jon's first goal was a bonus as he doesn't score many with his head. However, having said that, it really was a first class header from a good, early cross by Mickey Haswell.

"Defensively I thought we coped well with their aerial threat and the longer the game went on the back four looked more comfortable, both defending and with the ball. I thought the midfield gave us the platform to play football and after winning the physical battle they were able to slide balls in to both Tony Finn and Jon Main.

"There was a slight disruption at half time with a nasty ankle injury to Sam Hatton. We were fortunately able to bring in Jake Leberl. Jake sat comfortably in the holding position, allowing Kennedy Adjei to push on. Kennedy, however, has had a lot of football within the last couple of weeks and was suffering from cramp early in the second half.

"I was pleased to be able to put Luke Pigden on. He settled in very well and showed no nerves in what was probably the biggest game he has ever played in. He also had a major part in Jon Main's third goal.

"Special praise for the forwards who looked dangerous all afternoon. We are all aware of Mainy's finishing prowess and I've no doubt that however many leagues he steps up he would score goals. I was also particularly pleased with the work rate and effort put in by Tony Finn. He fully deserved his goal and certainly played a big part in Saturday's opening win. I'd also like to mention Dean Mason who made his debut on Saturday. Again, he showed no nerves and a fantastic attitude that sees him never give up on any ball. His pace and enthusiasm will undoubtedly be an important ingredient to the team, especially late in games.

"Although Stuart and I were absolutely delighted with the performance, I would like to point out the blindingly obvious, that first games of the season are sometimes not the greatest of indicators of the forthcoming season. The next two home games will no doubt tell us a bit more. Barring injuries, I don't envisage too many changes to the starting line up on Saturday.


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Monday 11 August 2008
dons trust news
July and August board meetings

At its last monthly meeting the board

* debated its top priorities with a view to putting them to the members at the next special general meeting

* provisionally set the date for that special general meeting as Thurday 16 October, with the AGM set for Thursday 22 January

* debated girls' and ladies' football

* adopted a procedure for nominating new auditors

* received a full update on the progress being made on the project to extend the main stand

The board has agreed not to meet in August, due to holidays, and so the next meeting will be on Monday 1 September.


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Saturday 09 August 2008
first team news
The Dons go singing in the rain

On a rainy, windswept afternoon, the Dons got their Blue Square South campaign off to a flying start, with a performance and victory over the team from south Wales that had the fans singing long and loud after the final whistle had gone.

The hero was once again Jon Main, whose hat trick demonstrated the striker's finishing skills. After an opening 30 minutes in which both sides were denied an opening goal by fine saves from the respective goalkeepers, Main opened the scoring when he headed home Michael Haswell's pin-point cross. On the stroke of half time, the lead was almost increased when Alan Inns' header from a corner looked destined for the goal, but keeper Glyn Thompson made a fantastic save to push the effort over the bar.

In the second half, the Dons took control of the game and after a move that started on the left hand side of the pitch, the ball ended up with Main on the right hand side of the penalty area. His thumping shot gave Thompson no chance. Main completed his hat trick after 70 minutes when he found himself with only the keeper to beat, after substitute Luke Pigden had headed the ball back into the penalty area. Two minutes later, Tony Finn slotted home Elliott Godfrey's pass and it was left to defender Dave Collins to score a late consolation goal for the Exiles.

Before getting on the team coach to head home, Terry Brown said he was absolutely delighted with the performance.

"It was a nervous start to the game and not a lot of good football was played in the first 30 minutes. However, when you have a Jon Main in your side it's a question of just feeding him the right ball and eventually he was able to gorge himself on the service he received. Overall, I am pleased with the whole team performance and was particularly pleased with the contribution by the youngsters. Unfortunately, Sam Hatton received a knock in the first half and is doubtful for Tuesday's game against Thurrock. Having secured an opening day victory it is important that the team focusses on the next two home games."

For more, click on Newport match report..


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Thursday 07 August 2008
first team news
Dean signs on

Shortly before training tonight, Terry Brown signed nineteen-year-old Dean Mason, who has been on trial with the club recently. Dean, who was formerly with Barnet, scored two goals in the pre-season friendly against Colliers Wood and has impressed in training.

"Dean is another one for the future" said Terry Brown. "He is tall, athletic and lightning fast. He also has a superb attitude and works his socks off for the team. I will be working with him, alongside several of the other younger players, to develop him and turn him into a regular first team player. He will be in the squad travelling to Newport County tomorrow."


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Thursday 07 August 2008
club news
A message from Newport County about Saturday's game

Earlier this evening Chris Blight, the Newport County chairman, sent the following message to our fans, which we reproduce in full below:


To The Chairman, Directors and Supporters of AFC Wimbledon

On behalf of all of us here at Newport County AFC, can I firstly offer you our congratulations on your promotion to the Blue Square South league.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had several conversations with your Chairman, with whom I have built a good rapport. I appreciate the history of your fine club, and I would invite any recipient of this e mail to visit our web site and read a little more about us as a club. We have a very healthy respect for all other football clubs in our league and we are very much looking forward to receiving you to our ground this coming Saturday.

Like yourselves, we are supported by a growing fan base, although your average gate recorded at just over 2,600, is something to be admired. Our average gate is just over 1,000, and we can normally expect to travel to away fixtures with between 200 - 300 supporters. We have been involved in this league since its inception, and we have found our average gate had previously been considered - the highest in the league. I feel confident that your average gate will leave all the clubs in our league, very jealous of such wonderful support.

Whilst speaking to your Chairman, we believe we can expect some 800 - 1,200 travelling fans from your club. A wonderful prospect for us, but obviously a gathering that must be planned meticulously for the purposes of safety during the course of the afternoon.

We want you all to feel confident and assured, that we will be making every endeavour to ensure your safety whilst entering, staying in and leaving our stadium. You will see a police presence, as there will be a total possible crowd of between 2,000 - 2,500. This is standard practice under Gwent Police Authority ruling. We have already met the Police and discussed our preparation at length. Segregation is necessary and sensible to promote the highest level of safety. In addition, an increased number of stewards are also on hand to assist in all areas. Unfortunately, we do not have the perfect football ground, due to the fact it is an atheletics stadium. We have one main seated stand, an additional covered terrace opposite and an uncovered terrace at the one end.

Being an ex league club (late 80's) we still have many loyal and true supporters, many of whom are voicing their opinions that they would like you all looked after within our ground. To this end, we have agreed with the Police's consent, that we would like you to share the standing covered terrace with us, on a roughly 50/50 basis. The terrace holds a maximum of 1,800, although a tarpaulin will need to cover half of the one middle section in order to provide the segregation, as would be expected with a crowd of this size. It would have been an easy decision to place all Wimbledon fans on the open end terrace, but this would not have been in the spirit of accommodating you. Weather reports lead me to believe that we may be subject to some heavy downpours and so the covered stand is essential for your comfort. Any overspill will have to go onto the open terrace.

As a club, we adopt the policy of zero tolerance in order to insure safety and together with the segregation, we feel confident in our arrangements. In addition, we have delivered portaloos directly alongside the stand for your sole use and also we are providing a burger van for food and drinks. You will have direct access via two turnstiles on the north side of the ground which is a 5 minute walking distance from the dedicated parking facility that we have hired for you in the grounds of Nash Technical College.

Our admission prices are £10.00 adults, £7.00 senior citizens, £6.00 students with card ID and £3.00 juniors under 16 years.

Remember you can "google" the ground and see our stadium and stands for yourselves. A map and directions are available on our web site - www.newport-county.co.uk. Do not forget that you will need to pay £5.30 at the Severn Bridge tolls on the M4. In our directions, at the fifth roundabout, you will need to turn left into the dedicated Wimbledon car parking facility within Nash College, which is 200 yards off the roundabout - and not continue across the roundabout to our normal car parking facility, directly outside the ground. We may have to make a small car park charge to cover the cost of hire and stewarding of the car park. I would also inform you, that other than food outlets in the immediate vicinity, there are no walking distance alcohol hostelries. In addition, to those of you travelling by train, the main Newport train station is some 45 minutes walk from the ground and is not recommended, especially bearing the predicted weather in mind. Dragon Taxis are based in the station car park and the fare is likely to be around £7.00.

So, I will conclude by hoping this message relays to you our excitement at the prospect of what hopefully will be a great opening game for the League of the Blue Square South. We wish you all a safe journey down to South Wales.

Yours sincerely

Chris Blight - Chairman



We have talked at some length to Chris Blight about the decision not to allow any Wimbledon fans into the seated area. As we understand it, this is a police decision - one that was arrived at after careful thought, as the issues are complex. We are seeking a dispensation for older and infirm fans and any fans who are worried about travelling to the game without the guarantee of a seat should call the office tomorrow between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm for more news.


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Thursday 07 August 2008
first team news
Terry looks forward to Saturday

Before we asked Terry Brown to look forward to the first game of the league season, and our first in the Blue Square South, we asked him for his thoughts about our pre-season campaign in general. He said: “last Saturday saw our final pre-season game and it ended a very satisfying week for the team. The last week has seen three good performances against sides who I think will do well this year. All three teams posed us physical problems and I think the team has started to deal with those better now.

“Overall, the pre-season period has been about jelling the new faces in with the existing staff and also asking the existing playing personnel to expand their horizons and play in a more attacking and entertaining fashion. It is a lot easier to coach and play in a direct fashion and the temptation for my full backs and centre halfs to deliver straight into the opposition half has sometimes been too much to resist. We have worked over the past month at playing from the back and playing through midfield. Initially we have over-elaborated this, to ensure that we don’t go long, although the perfect match will always combine direct football with a shorter passing game. The final week’s preparation will see us without a game, allowing us to concentrate on set-pieces and to put more emphasis on what we do in both boxes, rather than what we do in midfield.

“Looking forward to Saturday’s opener at Newport, I don’t expect it to be a footballing feast. The first game of the season is invariably a frantic affair with both teams anxious to get their season off to a good start. A combination of nerves and adrenalin will no doubt see us playing in a more direct fashion.

"Although I want to see us play exciting football, I don’t expect us to play brilliant passing football in every game this year. However, we should be trying to ensure that we play to our strengths, not the opposition’s strengths. Therefore, it is important that the players realise as soon as possible that our strength is getting the ball down and passing it. I don’t expect miracles in the first month. As long as we can get off to a steady start then I think we will be in a good position to improve through the year and put us in a play off position.

“Our chief scout, Lionel Meade, made the journey to Wales on Saturday (you can hear more about Lionel’s scouting role in a planned podcast this Friday, on the eve of the Newport game). After watching their friendly against a Leeds United XI, he reported that Newport Country gave a good account of themselves against a very talented Leeds side. We will take his report into account when we are preparing, but we need to be careful - what tends to happen is that so much emphasis is placed on the first game that the Tuesday night game seems to be taken for granted. So Lionel will be at Thurrock on Saturday, watching them take on Eastleigh and by Sunday night I expect I’ll have a report to review in good time for Tuesday’s game.”

We asked Terry what he would consider a good but realistic start to this season and he said “I would be delighted to pick up six points over the first three games - that would be a great start and would set us up nicely.”

We also took the opportunity to speak to former Wimbledon star Dean Holdsworth about his first game as a Blue Square South manager and the coincidence of it being against the Dons. He said: “it is quite ironic for me to be testing our new squad against the club where I spent many happy years. But it is also a fantastic way for myself and for Newport County to start the season against newly-promoted Wimbledon. – it really couldn’t have come any better. I was excited when the fixtures came out. The first thing I looked for was when we would be playing AFC Wimbledon. I can’t wait to walk out and see my new club play against my former club – it will be a brilliant occasion.”

Since he took over at Newport County, Holdsworth has been busy building a team to his design and much of what he says mirrors Terry Brown’s views on the importance of the togetherness and continuity of the squad. “Over the last eight weeks I’ve tried to build a squad capable of competing in Blue Square South. But I also want to build a team that we can keep together for the next two to three years and I hope I’ve done that.

Holdsworth has brought about 13 new players into the squad, including another former Dons favourite, Kevin Cooper Mk1. He is very happy with their progress so far. “We’ve had an excellent pre-season over the last six weeks, especially when we’ve got back to our own ground and been able to play on a good surface and ping the ball around. We’ve also been working on fitness - we’ve appointed a sports scientist and are trying to develop Prozone at the club. I am trying to bring what I learned at Bolton to this club, taking the team to a new level of fitness and science. I’m also into psychology in a big way and if the players buy into it then I’m really looking forward to reaping the benefits.

“Obviously I want to win the game and it would be huge to get off to a good start. But I’m also conscious that, while the result really matters to me, it is a chance for football to be the winner and for the two teams to be a great advertisement for Blue Square South football. So I am really looking forward to welcoming Terry, his team and the fans on Saturday. ”

In line with his usual policy, Terry won’t be disclosing anything about his squad for Saturday’s opener but we do have another insight for you. On Friday evening we will be publishing a podcast which will include an interview with chief scout Lionel Meade talking about his role, what he actually does, and how he fared in his predictions for the play off final last May, plus an update on what’s going on at the club from Commercial Director Ivor Heller.


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Wednesday 06 August 2008
club news
Please send your vouchers to the club

With our first home game less than a week away, the usual appeal has gone out to ask season ticket holders to return their vouchers for the Thurrock game if they can't attend.

There is enormous demand for seats for the game, especially because we have had to relocate fans with seats in blocks K and L. So, if you can't come to the game then please send your voucher to the club, or email info@afcwimbledon.co.uk with details of your ST book number.

We can also reclaim the VAT on unused terrace tickets so long as we get the go-ahead from you before the game so if you want to help the club at no cost to yourself, please do send us your voucher, or the relevant details.


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Wednesday 06 August 2008
club news
Season tickets to be collected from complimentary tickets window on Tuesday - clarification

We continue to welcome season ticket applications for seats and terraces.

To avoid any uncertainty about delivery and to ensure that tickets are received in good time by applicants, we are retaining tickets for collection with effect from today.

All applications received this week and next Monday will be processed on Tuesday 12 August. They will be available for collection from the complimentary tickets window before the game against Thurrock that evening. Please bring proof of your identity with you.

Please do not attempt to collect your ticket before the Thurrock game as it will not be ready. This is not what we previously announced; we apologise for the error which was caused by a misunderstanding.


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Tuesday 05 August 2008
club news
Advance ticket sales postponed until the main stand extension is complete

Work is on schedule for the main stand extension, which is due to be completed on 12 September. Until that date, we need to move season ticket holders from block K and from the new seats in block L. These ST holders will be temporarily relocated elsewhere in the main stand.

Because of these temporary relocations there is huge demand for seats that would otherwise be available for sale. Therefore, we have decided not to sell seats in advance of games for the foreseeable future.

Should any seats become available, we will use the kiosk in the main entrance lobby to sell them on the day of the game. If we decide to do this, we will announce it on a match-by-match basis on this site.


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Tuesday 05 August 2008
club news
Office switchboard closed on Tuesday afternoon

Due to a combination of holidays and other commitments, the office switchboard will be closed from 12.30 pm today.

It will re-open tomorrow at 10.00 am, as normal, when any messages will be replied to.


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Monday 04 August 2008
club news
Fans' coaches to Newport are full

We have now filled up the fourth and final coach taking fans to our game at Newport County on Saturday. We hope to be able to publish the matchday arrangements for the game shortly.

The next fans' coaches will be for our away game at Basingstoke on Saturday 23 August and further details will appear in the forthcoming matchday programmes and on this web site in due course.


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Saturday 02 August 2008
first team news
Main hat-trick secures comfortable victory

A hat-trick from Jon Main against his former club rounded off the Dons' pre season friendlies with a victory and performance that bodes well for the league season.

Main opened the scoring after just two minutes when he latched on to a poor back pass and stroked the ball home into an empty net from close range. Ten minutes later Main was pushed over in the box by the goalkeeper, Lee Worgan, as he ran on to a pass from Kennedy Adjie. Main quickly picked the ball up, placed it on the penalty spot and made no mistake to increase the lead.

Unlike the two league encounters last season, the Dons withstood the Angels' limited attacks, although the home side were unfortunate not to pull one back after 25 minutes, when a header from a free kick hit the inside of the post and rolled across the face of the goal before being cleared.

Main completed his hat-trick after 54 minutes when he bundled the ball home again from close range after Worgan was only able to parry Sam Hatton's fierce shot.

Terry Brown said after the game, "I have been delighted with the past week, where the team has played three difficult games and been able to play the sort of football that I want. However, the league opener against Newport County will be quite a different test, and I will have to consider whether to adapt the skill side of our game to meet the physical challenge."


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Friday 01 August 2008
club news
Last chance for the fans' coach to Newport

With a record three coaches already booked for the trip to Newport next weekend, at a bargain price of £10 per seat for all-comers, we've started taking names for a fourth.

We need 40 places to be filled before we can go ahead and book and, so far, we have a dozen. We will continue to take names until close of business on Tuesday - at that time we hope to be able to book a fourth coach. However, we can't make losses on fans' travel and if we don't get enough names by then we will not be able to run the fourth coach.

So, if you want to take advantage of this bargain price, please call the office on 020 8547 3528 between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm on weekdays, or call into the office during those hours.


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