On-loan centre-back relishing his time at Wimbledon
Yado Mambo says his time at AFC Wimbledon has lived up to his own expectations after an impressive loan spell so far.
The 21-year-old Charlton Athletic defender told Dons Player after his debut at Oxford United earlier this month that playing for Wimbledon appealed to him a few seasons ago when he was on loan at Staines Town. And Yado admitted that he jumped at the chance to join the Dons after speaking with Wimbledon midfielder Rashid Yussuff. The pair were both trainees with the Addicks and Yado admitted that certainly helped him feel at home when he joined the Dons.
Speaking to Dons Player, Yado said: “It helps you settle in when you know other players and I have known ‘Toks’ for a number of years. I know how he plays and I spoke to him before I came here. He had great things to say about this club. It was a no-brainer in a way. I have enjoyed it and got some good first-team experience. I really hope the fans have taken to me because I am trying my best to earn their respect and their trust.”
Yado has formed a solid partnership at centre-back in recent weeks with Will Antwi, but that will receive a stern test tomorrow with Wimbledon play-off hero Danny Kedwell leading the attack for League 2 table-toppers Gillingham. But Yado insists that the Dons have nothing to fear and the Gills will have plenty to think about with the likes of Byron Harrison and Jack Midson carrying the fight.
“It should be a very good game as we have been playing really well in the last few games and the confidence is there again,” he added. “Hopefully, we can build on that on Saturday by pressing them high and doing our best to do what we do best and score goals. Byron and Jack are doing really well so far. Byron is scoring goals and being a really good target man up front, while Jack was man of the match the other night. We have two very good strikers who are in form. We cannot worry too much about what they (Gillingham) have got too much.
“Will Antwi is a very good professional, who is experienced and he has helped me. He talks you through games and our partnership is getting stronger, hopefully we can stay together for a long period of games. The back four has got tighter and more organised recently.”
Meanwhile, a player who has gone the other way to get first-team football on loan is midfielder Will Bor. The 18-year-old joined Staines Town earlier this month to gain experience under former Wimbledon striker Marcus Gayle, who took over at the Blue Square South club in May. With ex-Wimbledon midfielder Elliott Godfrey installed as captain at Staines and joined by former Dons youngsters Jack Turner and Louie Theophanous, life has been far from dull for Will Bor.
“I just needed some game-time and I knew Marcus from Wimbledon reserves last year,” said Will. “It has just been good to play men’s football and it can only help me develop. Elliott jokes around a bit, but he talks to me a lot on the field, which is good. Jack is a very good goalkeeper and Louie scored a lot of goals for the reserves last year and is doing that too here.
“I am here until the end of the month for now and hopefully when I do go back I can impress at Wimbledon.”
Will helped improving Staines Town to a 2-1 win at Sutton United last Saturday with former Wimbledon defenders Jamie Stuart and Gareth Gwillim in opposition.
Visit Dons Player to view the full video interview with Yado Mambo.