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Club News

Neal on the new season

1 August 2013

Team news and the manager's hopes for 2013/14

says that selecting his starting 11 for Saturday’s League 2 opener at Torquay is a particularly tough task with new signings on board and no fresh injury worries.Neal Ardley 

.Will Antwi, Neal said that everyone is fit apart from Dons PlayerSpeaking at length about Wimbledon’s preparations for season 2013/14 and his hopes for the new campaign during an interview for

Several summer signings could make their debuts at Plainmoor on Saturday and Neal believes he has good options thanks to meticulous preparations behind the scenes.

“We are ready to go,” said Neal. “We will get fitter as the season goes on because we are progressing the fitness work gradually. We are big on injury prevention and we will try and keep a fresh squad for the season. That will not mean playing the same 11 for 46 games, but it will mean using a decent squad throughout the campaign. If you look at the team now I reckon I could ask six or seven people to pick our starting line-up and they would all choose a different team. That is a great sign because we have a lot of good players to choose from.

and the management team. Everyone looks out for the little things that may cause us a problem and we try and stay on top of the situation to limit injuries.”Jason Moriarty, Stuart Douglas“The fitness programme we put in place is to gradually get us fitter as the season goes on. Pre-season is well known for picking up injuries but in that sphere I am quite happy. Apart from a couple of ankle knocks that were due to hard pitches and Will Antwi suffering a hernia which had nothing to do with training, we have done okay and have limited muscle injuries. I am a big believer in sports science and making sure everything is right. We make sure that the communication is good between

The match at Torquay starts Neal Ardley’s first full season as Wimbledon manager and he accepts that expectations will be far different from 2012/13, which was all about keeping the Dons in League 2.

“I did not look for any excuses last season in terms of saying that it was not my team,” added Neal. “I knew that I had to get to January and try and put my own stamp on it with our own players. Thankfully, we got there in the end in what was a very tough league. This is now our own team that we have put together and we have set our standards higher. If we do not reach those targets then hopefully everyone will still be happy because we have not ended up in the same position as last season. I know that (pressure) comes with the territory and I hope the fans know that they have a manager who cares. I will work my socks off to put together a good team.”

Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site and the thoughts of Alan Bennett on being named Wimbledon captain.


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