AFC Wimbledon can confirm that Neal Ardley has today moved closer to putting his new-look squad together for next season with the arrival of left-back Callum Kennedy.
Neal Ardley said that Callum, who has built up a reputation as a full-back who likes to get forward, is exactly the type of player he wants to fit into a dynamic, vibrant squad for 2013/14.
The 24-year-old helped Swindon Town to the League 2 title in 2012 before moving to Scunthorpe United last summer and he has also had loan spells at Rotherham and Gillingham.
Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley revealed that he moved quickly to sign Callum once he became available.
“Callum played in Swindon’s promotion-winning team and Simon Bassey has kept tabs on him since then,” said Neal. “Left-back is one of those specialist positions and there were not many out there that fitted our budget and the criteria that we were looking for. When we heard that he was potentially going to Oxford and that had fallen through we moved quickly on it. We spoke to his agent the next day and got the wheels in motion.
“First of all, Callum is a very good left-back, which is a position that we wanted to get right. We are trying to get full-backs who will be comfortable getting further up the pitch, but last season we played a bit more rigid. This season we want to slightly change that and Callum fits the mould. Last season he had five or six assists during his 17 games for Scunthorpe. Callum has got a wonderful left foot and he can take set-pieces. If we can get him moving up the pitch in advance of the wide players then I am sure he will be delivering quality. Callum trained last week at Scunthorpe and looked sharp in training today with us.”
Callum told Dons Player that Neal Ardley’s plans to move Wimbledon forward next season played a key part in his decision to make the move.
“There were a few talks going on between Scunthorpe and another club about me recently, but the move fell through for some reason,” said the Chertsey-born full-back. “Then I got a phone call from my agent saying that AFC Wimbledon were interested. I spoke to Neal Ardley and he really sold the club to me; the way that he wanted me to play and how I would fit into the team.
“It really excited me to be a part of a team that will have a good style of play and once I heard Neal’s plans it was a no-brainer to join. I know that the club has a fantastic fan base and I am looking forward to getting started.”
Callum, who is pictured above being welcomed to the club by Neal Ardley after his first full training session, is wearing AFC Wimbledon’s new tracksuit range, which will be available soon from the club shop and online.
Dons Player subscribers can now watch a video interview with Neal Ardley on making his eighth summer signing and the thoughts of Callum on our premium site later today.