Mikhael on his debut
Goalkeeper's pride at second chance
Venezuelan goalkeeper Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz admitted his AFC Wimbledon debut was a proud occasion for him after a patient wait to play professional football in England again.
Since his last Football League appearance with Aldershot over two years ago, Mikhael has ventured back to his South American homeland and had a spell with Dover in Blue Square South. However, Terry Brown offered the Venezuelan international a chance back in professional football last month - and the 28-year-old grasped his opportunity with both hands last night against Southend.
Speaking to Dons Player, Mikhael said: “It was just great to play and I am pretty happy with my performance. I think my good preparation, with help from our goalkeeping coach (Paul Priddy) and fitness coach (Jason Moriarty) showed tonight. Hopefully, I can prepare well for another opportunity. I will be ready for any opportunity to play at this level – that is why I am here. I think another reason for me coming to Wimbledon was the fans. They have a good reputation and I want to put good performances in for them. It is great if the supporters acknowledge what I did tonight.”
Mikhael is well-known back home in Venezuela as he is a full international who has played against the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. He admits that his association with Wimbledon is sure to have been well noted in his homeland. “Of course, people know the name Wimbledon because of the tennis tournament so when I tell people they know where I am. But the football club is one of huge tradition and history and I am just pleased to play for Wimbledon.”