Dutch defender thanks club physio after returning to full fitness
Pim Balkestein believes he has finally put his frustrating injury problems behind him after working tirelessly on his fitness with club physio Mike Rayner.
The centre-back (pictured saluting Wimbledon’s fans after the Bradford City win) has struck up a good understanding in defence with his old Brentford team-mate Alan Bennett in recent weeks. Pim has not been a regular starter since the early part of 2012/13 due to a combination of ankle and groin injuries, but now he is finally getting a run of games under his belt.
Speaking to Dons Player ahead of tonight’s Plymouth match, Pim praised Mike Rayner for helping him back to full fitness.
“It feels great to be back playing – and in a winning team too,” Pim said. “But I am still working hard on my fitness and it is getting better by the day. Mike has worked really hard with me and I have been seeing specialists a couple of times a week. I had a hernia operation a couple of years ago and the problems started to come back again.
“I am grateful for the support the club has shown me in terms of providing the right treatment and hopefully I can pay people back with my performances on the pitch.”
The towering Dutchman added that the influence of Alan Bennett and Gary Alexander has made a big difference for Wimbledon with the experience they have provided.
“I played for half a season with Alan at Brentford,” said Pim. “He is a great guy who talks a lot throughout the game. The gaffer brought in players who were captains at their previous clubs and there are now a lot of voices out there on the pitch for us. We have players now that bring great leadership.
“You can feel the happiness in the camp now and we go into the Plymouth game with a lot of confidence. We will be on the front foot like we have in the last couple of home games and if we can extend the run we have been on during the coming weeks then we should be safe soon. Plymouth is a massive game, but we have to be confident. You cannot fear these kinds of games and hopefully we will get the same support that we did on Saturday at Dagenham. The support we had was unbelievable and it was great for a League 2 club to get almost 900 fans for an away match.”
.Plymouth previewTo read Neal Ardley's thoughts on tonight's match, published on the official website yesterday, click on
Dons Player subscribers can now watch the full video interview with Pim Balkestein on our premium site, along with the thoughts of Neal Ardley on tonight’s Plymouth challenge.