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Interviews

Sweeney interview in full

9 January 2013

More from Wimbledon's new signing

In his first exclusive interview after signing on the dotted line and completing his medical, Peter Sweeney spoke of his determination to be a success at AFC Wimbledon.

The 28-year-old midfielder, who was born in Scotland, believes he is at his peak as a footballer, just over nine years since he played in an FA Cup Final for Millwall against Manchester United. Here we publish Peter’s interview in full, which appeared on Dons Player yesterday.

I guess it has been a hectic 24 hours as you were only released by Bury yesterday and now here you are as a Wimbledon player?

It has been a bit tiring and I am just glad to have signed all the documents now. It is good to be back home living with my family and I can’t wait to get involved with training and playing with the lads. It was great to get straight involved in training today and it is quite easy for new players to fit in. I am really forward to being here and playing on Saturday.

For the Wimbledon supporters who have not seen you play, what type of player are you?

I like to create goals – that is my main strength. I love to get on the ball and pass it around. But I also like to work hard and get stuck in, to do the other side of the game that a midfielder has to do.

Having been so well regarded at Bury, I believe that family reasons played a part in your departure?

It was a major factor. I was away from my wife and my little girl and we have another child coming in the next four weeks. I had a great time at Bury and played some of the best football of my career there – I will always have a soft spot for the club. I am just delighted to be coming back home now.

How did Neal Ardley sell the club to you?

To be honest, he did not have to really. I knew of Neal from his playing days and had heard he was a really good player. Once I spoke to him on the phone and he told me how interested he was in bringing me here, it was a no-brainer for me. The move basically then got done in a couple of days.

Wimbledon were bottom of the league before a couple of recent wins and supporters will perhaps be looking to yourself to help the club climb the table.

The team is more than capable of doing it after a couple of good results. I have spoken to people who have seen Wimbledon play and they told me they are a good team. Once you are down near the bottom of the table, it is tough to get out of it. We will be looking to get out of it sooner, rather than later. By the end of February and start of March you do not want to be saying that we need a certain amount of points and looking over our shoulders. The sooner we get the points, the quicker we can move on and get away from the bottom four.

As a youngster you were involved in an FA Cup Final for Millwall against Manchester United, but at the age of 28 do you think you are approaching your peak as a footballer?

Definitely. Some people will say that I have taken a step down from League One football, but I would not have come here if I did not think the club had ambition. The manager knows where he wants to take this football club and I have plenty of ambition too. I feel that I am at my peak now and playing the best football of my career. I am just looking forward to getting started here and playing on Saturday.

If you can tell us a bit more about your football career, starting with your early days as a youngster at Millwall.

The Millwall days were brilliant. I was only a young kid getting started and it was great experience to play in an FA Cup Final and in Europe. Then Stoke bought and I had spells at other clubs up north, including Leeds United. I was happy at Bury last season, but I wanted to get home and be with my family. Not seeing my wife and my girl was affecting me at times and that was a factor. Once I heard about Wimbledon’s ambitions from the manager, it was an easy decision to come here.

Though you have not started a game for Bury since early December, are you fit and raring to go?

I have stayed fit during training and the sessions were always tough at Bury. That kept me ticking over when I was not playing. I am fit and raring to go and I cannot wait for Saturday if I am involved.


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