Alan Bennett capture makes it six for Neal Ardley
We are pleased to confirm that Neal Ardley has this afternoon completed his sixth signing in the past month with the arrival of experienced centre-back Alan Bennett.
Bennett, who was released from his contract at Cheltenham just minutes before last night’s 11.00 pm transfer deadline, signed on the dotted line for AFC Wimbledon today and successfully completed a medical, but he is ineligible for tomorrow's Burton match.
The 31-year-old Republic of Ireland international, who has helped Wycombe and Brentford to League 2 promotions during his successful career so far, was Cheltenham Town’s captain and came so close to leading them into League 1 last season when they were beaten in the play-off final.
Bennett started his career with Cork City and played in the Champions League with the Irish outfit and he has also had spells at Reading and Southampton.
Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley believes Bennett’s capture will provide the experience and leadership that the Dons need to beat avoid relegation.
“Alan has had promotions in his career and he captained Cheltenham to the play-off final last season,” said Neal Ardley. “After speaking to Cheltenham manager Mark Yates and he told me he was going in a different direction with a couple of younger players now. Alan has come highly recommended.
"We have watched a lot of footage of him in action and he does not make too many bad decisions. He is a leader and has the qualities that were too good for us to turn down for the rest of this season and hopefully longer.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch an in-depth video interview with Neal Ardley on Wimbledon's dramatic transfer activity in the last 24 hours and later on we will feature interviews with Alan Bennett and Gary Alexander.