Young Player of the Year on an "unbelievable" season
says his loan move to AFC Wimbledon has exceeded his own expectations after he was rewarded with two player of the year awards for helping the Dons to survival.Jonathan Meades
Manager Neal Ardley’s decision to make Meades his first loan signing in November certainly paid off with the 21-year-old having arguably been Wimbledon’s most consistent player since joining on loan from AFC Bournemouth.
accolade.Radio WDON Player of the Year – voted for by the fans – and the Natalie Callow Memorial Trophy for AFC Wimbledon’s Young Player of the YearHis contribution in several positions on the pitch was certainly appreciated by the supporters, but Meades expressed his “surprise” after receiving the
“My time at Wimbledon has been unbelievable,” said Meades, who is pictured above getting the better of Edgar Davids. “When I first came to the club I had never even played in a league game. Picking up awards never even entered my head and I was a bit surprised. After the game a few people said I might have a chance and when I got the call I was chuffed. I must thank the fans and they have been brilliant all season.
“All the players went crazy after Saturday’s game and there was a lot of singing and dancing. There was a bit of anxiety in the week leading up to the game and there was relief afterwards. I must also say a big thank-you to Neal Ardley. For him to make me his first signing in a new job showed so much faith in my ability. Though Neal knew me from Cardiff days, I was unproven at this level and he was taking a chance on me. I hope I have repaid him with my performances this season.”
Meades added that his time at Wimbledon has reignited a football career that has been stop-start in more ways than one. The Wales Under-21 international suffered terrible injuries that curtailed his chances of making it at Cardiff and then when he earned a move to AFC Bournemouth in the summer, the Cherries quickly changed management and his opportunities were limited.
“After signing my first professional contract at Cardiff I barely played for two seasons because I had patellar tendonitis in my knee and also had to have an operation on my calf,” Meades added. “They were injuries that were tough to come back from at such a young age. But I have really been able to kick-on this season. It has been a brilliant season for me with Cardiff and Bournemouth getting promoted and now AFC Wimbledon staying up on the last day.
“I really believe that Wimbledon’s fans played a massive part in us staying up. Even when we got beat 3-0 at home to Oxford, they never booed us off, and at some clubs they would. I think if they had booed us off that day we would have gone down. The supporters were brilliant at Gillingham too and for me to get my first league goal in that game and help us to come from 2-0 down at the home of the Champions was a real highlight for me. To actually be a part of the jubilant scenes on Saturday and to celebrate with the fans on the pitch was something special.”
After such a breakthrough season for Jonathan Meades, what does the immediate future hold for him?
“Bournemouth have just got promoted so it is likely that they will be bringing more new players in,” added Meades. “I will have to decide what is best for me and my career and Wimbledon is a strong option. I am contracted to Bournemouth for another year and I will just have to speak to them about what is best for both parties going forward.”
AFC Wimbledon Player of the Year Award winners for season 2012/13:
- Jonathan MeadesNatalie Callow Memorial Trophy for AFCW Young Player Of The Year
Jonathan MeadesRadio WDON Player of the Year -
Jack MidsonJunior Dons Player of the Year -
Luke MoorePlayers' Player of the Year -
Jack MidsonWISA Allen Batsford Player of the Year -