Wimbledon club physio calls time on his successful nine years
AFC Wimbledon club physio Mike Rayner has announced that he has decided to step down from his long-serving role at the end of 2012/13.
Mike, who was brought to Wimbledon nine years ago by Dave Anderson, has served under several managers and he has become a hugely respected figure at the club for his dedication and professionalism to the cause.
A combination of Mike wishing to return to private practice and spend more time with his children are the key motivations for his decision.
“After nine enjoyable and tough years at Wimbledon I have decided to take a step back from my work at the club,” Mike said. “I want to get a bit more flexibility in my life through working in private practice and I want to spend more time with my young children Oralie and Neve. Working in football has been great and the memories that stand out are obviously the promotions and playing a part in those, particularly the play-off final at Manchester.
“I have put my heart and soul into the role, but it is time now for me to look after my family in the next few years. I have got strong interest from a clinic in Guildford and Godalming and I am looking to go back into private practice there. If the club ever needs any help or second opinions I would jump at the chance again.
“It has been my own decision and I caught everyone off guard really. I went in to see Erik Samuleson to hand in my notice and all the management team and club directors were in that evening. I think everyone was a bit shocked I had done it, but everyone seemed to understand my reasons. I knew in my head that it was the right decision, but I did it with a heavy heart and it has been tough to go through with it. Working in football is fast and furious and I have loved it. However, it also involves long trips around the country and long hours. I want to spend more time with my family and see my kids grow up.”
During his nine years at the club Mike has helped so many players recover from serious injuries, including the likes of Jason Prior and Jon Main, but perhaps his main achievement has been the professionalism he has installed since he first joined in 2004.
“I used to drive down in my car from Kings Cross to Tolworth, where we trained in those days, with rehabilitation equipment, loads of tape and massage boards in the boot of my car,” Mike added. “I then used to set-up at Tolworth and I basically operated a mobile physio unit from my car. I am proud to say that I have helped the club raise funds for the gym we now have at New Malden and increase the standard of facilities. I helped get better cardiovascular equipment and other equipment that Jason Moriarty (Fitness Coach) needed for rehabilitating players by cycling up to Gateshead. Players and fans supported the efforts. The equipment has helped us rehabilitate and monitor players better and we have come a long way since those days at Tolworth.”
AFC Wimbledon wishes to thank Mike Rayner for all his hard work throughout the years. Watch out for more from Mike on his time with the Dons on the official website and in the Fleetwood matchday programme.