With us having made quite a few loan signings recently we decided to catch up with Yado Mambo and Dale Bennett about what it means to join the Dons.
Centre-back Yado, age 20, is our most recent signing as he joined us on loan from the Addicks on Monday and just in time to make his Football League debut at Oxford United on Tuesday night. Fellow defender Dale Bennett, on loan from Watford, also had good news during the week when he was informed by our caretaker manager Simon Bassey that we would be extending his stay at AFC Wimbledon.
Speaking to Dons Player, Yado (pictured above) had to cut short his trip to Swansea for an Under-21s game with Charlton on Monday to sign in time to feature at the Kassam Stadium. But he had no hesitation in doing so, particularly to play for a club that he respects so much from his loan stay at Staines Town. Though not involved in our Ryman Premier League play-off win at Wheatsheaf Park in 2008, Yado was at the game that got us promoted to the Conference South.
“It is a massive fan base here and I remember the game at Staines,” he said. “I think the whole stadium was full of Dons fans and it didn’t seem like any Staines fans were there. On the final whistle there was blue and yellow shirts everywhere, I knew it was a big club then. I am happy to be here and to play for this club.
“It was a quick thing with me coming here. I was on the way to Swansea to play in an Under-21s match for Charlton, but then I had to quickly go back to sign some papers. I got off at Reading and got a cab to Charlton. It was a bit hectic as I got my boots and stuff and I was on my way.”
Yado, who made two League Cup appearances for Charlton last season, is expected to be involved at Plymouth tomorrow and he believes his ability in the air can be an asset for the Dons.
“I can bring an aerial ability and have good strength,” he added. “Hopefully, I can find my feet here. It was a big test for me in my first game, there was good pace to the game, and I needed to adjust quickly. Hopefully, I can help get a few clean sheets and maybe a few goals. I want to come here, do well, and maybe get my loan extended for three months or even longer. Hopefully, the fans will be impressed by what I can do.”
Dale Bennett admits that he is determined to make up for lost time with the Dons as he has missed a few games through injury. The Watford centre-back, aged 22, will miss tomorrow’s trip to Plymouth after failing to shrug off a back injury, but he had his loan extended yesterday by Wimbledon and Dale aims to be back next week.
“When I got told that the club wanted to extend my loan I thought it was a good move for me,” he said. “It is just unfortunate that I have a problem with my back, but hopefully next week I will be back and be involved in the Cheltenham match. I am trying to make up for lost time and show what I can do on the pitch. David Lee has come in to coach us and I think he has helped the defence with his experience.
“We have done better lately in defence, apart from on Tuesday night. Will Antwi has more experience than me and it helped playing with him. I think we had struck up a decent partnership before my injury. Simon Bassey has shown good faith in me. He has kept me involved and he tells you when you are doing well. He told me that he was extending my time here so I must be doing something right. Simon has helped us to play more positively since he has been in charge.”
The full interviews with Dale and Yado can be viewed on Dons Player, along with seven other video interviews this week. The Football League Interactive (FLi) are currently offering a 14-day trial period on Dons Player. This means that premium content, including match highlights and commentary, is available free of charge. Those supporters not travelling to Home Park tomorrow can therefore listen to full WDON commentary tomorrow. For more information on this and a link to subscribe for a free trial, click on Dons Player.