Mark aims to bring more youngsters through
Academy Manager Mark Robinson is confident that more Dons youngsters can come through the ranks and follow the likes of Jim Fenlon into the first-team squad.
Jim’s Football League debut as a second-half substitute at Burton Albion was one of the positives to take from our heavy defeat at the Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday night.
The progress of the young full-back into the first-team squad, along with Frankie Merrifield and Huw Johnson, offers encouragement to this season’s crop of Under-18s, according to Mark.
“I want to produce players Terry can trust and that will take the first-team onto another level,” he said. “It is about a winning mentality and we want to finish as high as we can, but if we win the league and no one comes through to the first team, then it is no good. Our lads like to come down and watch the first-team as they know Jim and Frankie well. It gives them that belief that if they work hard, then they can also come through.”
Wimbledon’s Under-18s earned their first point of the season in the Football League Youth Alliance on Saturday with Harlen Basker on target twice in a 2-2 home draw against Crawley Town. They travel to AFC Bournemouth tomorrow with Mark hoping that his side can build on that improved performance after their opening day defeat at Portsmouth.
“It was a much more encouraging performance as the boys played like they did in pre-season during spells,” he added. “The first goal that we scored was excellent with eight or nine passes leading up to it. There were a lot of very good individual performances, led by Harlen who will score a lot of goals this season. Tom Beere played out of position at right wing back and produced a fine performance and so too did Charlie Fayers and Matt Cunnington.”