Three recruits lead the charge in Richmond
Three young footballers have returned to AFC Wimbledon hoping to use the club’s successful academy programme as a springboard for successful careers.
Jack Watret, Duane Williams and Jamie Hardwick (pictured left to right above) were among the Wimbledon College Academy squad that started pre-season training this week. The trio have now joined an academy that helped nurture first-teamer Jim Fenlon and in more recent times Nas Majeed, Harry Bruce and Rob Switon have all been offered opportunities to play for Mark Robinson’s Under-18s.
The club’s college academy offers students a chance to combine education with competitive football in the Football Conference Youth League Premier Division.
Head of AFC Wimbledon’s South Thames College Academy, Michael Hamilton, said: ‘’Duane had trials with us towards the end of last season and ended up playing a handful of games. Duane featured for us mainly out wide last season, but he also has the versatility to operate through the middle. He has shown a good attitude and hopefully he will kick on next season. Jamie plays down the right side, mainly as a full-back, but he has potential to player higher up. He stood out in the trials we held and is thrilled to be back. Jack plays centre-back and has shown great leadership qualities so far. He turned down other clubs in the summer to re-join the Dons. The early signs are really encouraging for all three. ‘’
All three played for AFC Wimbledon’s youth teams for various age groups and they showed their fitness and durability by leading home the squad in a tough seven-mile run around Richmond Park.
The full results for this challenge, a test completed by Mark Robinson’s Under-18s earlier this month, are as follows:
1. Jamie Hardwick – 50:52
2. Jack Watret – 52:50
3. Duane Williams – 54:01
4. Ian Smith – 54:02
5. Steve Sargeant – 55:29
6. Dalvin Donnelly – 55:30
7. Jaevon Mitchell – 57:12
8. Rushane Brown – 58:42
9. Malik Smith – 1:02:34
10. Powell Ulcah – 1:06:06
11. Jaszime Johnson -1:06:09