Manager Neal Ardley has announced that midfielder Kieran Djilali has returned to the club, having signed a short-term deal. Before we interviewed Kieran for Dons Player, the manager said "Kieran has been with us for a month now. He has trained well and showed a very good attitude. He has the potential to play at a higher level but first he needs to prove himself with us. With the busy winter period coming on, we thought we should augment the squad and take the chance to have a good look at him in competitive action."
Speaking to Dons Player, as the ink dried on a short term contract, the winger revealed “It came about because Simon Bassey asked me to play in a game just to come in and train and get fit and it just continued from there really. I’ve done enough to impress the manager and get a short–term deal. It’s just for a few months and I’ve got to prove to a lot of people I can stay fit and still do it at this level.
Kieran was released by the club on the expiry of his contract in May of this year. The high point of his initial stay with AFC Wimbledon was scoring a vital 86th minute winner for the Dons against Dagenham and Redbridge in a 2-1 victory at the Cherry Red Records Stadium back in March, which helped to secure League Two status for another season.
Dons supporters will remember Kieran made a quick return as part of a Portsmouth squad that came away with a 2-0 victory in a pre-season friendly back in August. Shortly after that Michael Appleton, Pompey boss at the time, rewarded Kieran with a one-month deal and he figured in their season opener with Bournemouth. However, Djilali parted company with Portsmouth a fortnight later due to their financial situation and Appleton citing a lack of fitness.
On his return to Wimbledon, Kieran added “I’ve been working very hard with Jason Moriarty (AFC Wimbledon fitness coach) and doing stuff on the weekend, so I’ve been trying my best to keep fit. I think I’ve got a lot of people to prove wrong, but I got great support from the club last time and although I couldn’t stay fit hopefully the worst is over now and I can get out the pitch and repay the faith show in me by a lot of people at this club.”
Kieran admitted he found it easy to fit in back down at our New Malden training ground and although there were many new faces he feels the same spirit is still there.
“Neal wants us to play good football and work hard first and play in a good style and I’ve really enjoyed the sessions I’ve participated in so far. We’ve got to prepare right for Aldershot after a good result on Monday, it’s back to the league now – different format, different game – so hopefully we can go and get the three points.”
The full interview with Kieran Djilali on his return to AFC Wimbledon is now available on Dons Player, where he also gives his views on his good friend Christian Jolley, who has moved on loan to Newport County.