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Damien on Neal's new era

13 August 2013

Ex-Dons midfielder talks to Dons Player

returned to watch his boyhood club on Saturday – and he was very impressed by Neal Ardley’s new-look side.Damien FrancisFormer Wimbledon midfielder

all about his love for the Dons and what he has been doing since retiring from playing through injury.Dons PlayerDamien, who made over 100 appearances for Wimbledon, many of them alongside our current manager, also spoke to Rob Cornell on

but Wimbledon are the club closest to his heart. Wandsworth-born Damien (who is pictured above left alongside Chelsea club secretary David Barnard, photograph taken by Paul Willatts), also played for Norwich, Wigan and Watford in the Premier League,

And he was delighted to see AFC Wimbledon’s bright start to the season at close quarters on Saturday.

“It is a great start to the season and long may it continue,” Damien said. “I did not see many games last season, but the feeling I got from quite a few people was that they probably would have lost that one during the last campaign. To stay up last season was massive and it looks like the team has moved on. I think it was a good team performance overall and Wimbledon were pretty sound defensively.

“It was important for the team to hit the ground running this season and now the players may be able to relax a little bit more for the games coming up. Neal has done a great job so far and hopefully he can maybe push the squad towards the play-offs this season.”

Damien, who came through Wimbledon’s youth system after supporting the club as a boy, added that the atmosphere on Saturday reminded him of days gone by at Plough Lane.

“It is a fantastic following here and it felt like I was at home again during Plough Lane days,” said the 34-year-old. “It was that sort of vibe and atmosphere about the place. Wimbledon is a special club and I was a fan from a very young age. I think a lot of ex-players carry that affiliation with the club for the rest of their lives. I am looking forward to getting down here again when I can.”

 Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Damien Francis on our premium site. 

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