We are delighted to announce the appointment of a new full-time goalkeeper coach with Ashley Bayes having today joined AFC Wimbledon.
With Ashley having had experience of goalkeeping coaching for over a decade and a long playing career at clubs such as Torquay, Stevenage and Leyton Orient, manager Neal Ardley believes he is the ideal man to join his backroom team.
During a video interview for Dons Player, Neal also revealed that Ashley (pictured above left in the club’s new training kit) will be utilised as back-up for next season’s number one and will be registered as a player.
Neal said: “I have looked extensively at what I wanted to do this summer to move this club forward and having a full-time goalkeeper coach, who will cover home and away games, is really important. The only way we could do that at this precise time is to get in a quality goalkeeper coach who is fit enough and good enough to be a number two. Ashley fits the bill massively.
“I know what he is like as a goalkeeper coach and he will be a bubbly character to have around the place too. He has got really good ideas for coaching players in training and preparing them for games. From my point of view it is difficult to understand the technical details which goes into goalkeeping because I was an outfield player. Players can have an affinity with a goalkeeping coach, who can look out for them and point out things that they can improve upon. I am really pleased because he will be a major asset in pushing us forward.”
Ashley, who has been appointed following the retirement of Paul Priddy at the end of last season, has a UEFA B coaching licence and is looking to work towards his UEFA A qualification. Since Brentford handed him his first-team debut in 1990, Ashley has since helped Stevenage into the Football League and to FA Trophy glory and he won a League of Ireland title with Bohemians in 2003.
Now 41 years of age, Ashley told Dons Player that he cannot wait to get started in his new role - and he knows all about AFC Wimbledon because he was Andy Little’s goalkeeper coach during the club’s Ryman League days.
“I am absolutely delighted to take up this position at AFC Wimbledon,” Ashley said. “I have been working as a goalkeeper coach for the past two years at Aldershot and combined that with playing at Basingstoke. AFC Wimbledon have decided to appoint a full-time goalkeeper coach for the first time and I am really looking forward to filling the role.
“I first started coaching at Woking over 10 years ago and I just want to pass on all the experience that I have got. Hopefully, the goalkeepers I have here will listen and learn and give everything back that I want from them, which is hard work, dedication, hunger and desire. I want to stamp my authority on the role from day one. I know how to win things as during my career I have won trophies and played at Wembley and now I want to make a difference at Wimbledon. I know plenty about the club because I coached Andy Little when Dave Anderson was here as manager. The fans are passionate, they create a great atmosphere, and everything that I want is here.”
- The official website plans to feature an article soon about Paul Priddy’s valuable contribution to the club before his retirement.
- Dons Player subscribers can now watch the full video interviews with Neal Ardley and Ashley Bayes on our premium site.
- The new training kit sported by Ashley Bayes above will be available soon to purchase from the AFC Wimbledon club shop.