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Dons starlets are rewarded

3 May 2013

Young pair will feature in weekend football festival

Two promising AFC Wimbledon youngsters have been rewarded for their excellent form this season by signing pre-scholarship forms at the club.

Alfie Egan (pictured above) and Ethan Nelson-Roberts have both been earmarked for bright futures with the Dons having signed agreements that mean they are guaranteed to play for the Under-18s in years to come.

Both players will feature in the festival of football at the Cherry Red Records Stadium this Saturday and Sunday, which will see Wimbledon taking on teams from QPR and Swindon in several youth matches.

Under-15 player Alfie has impressed with his midfield skills this season and he has signed pre-scholarship forms after a hugely impressive performance in the Nike Sparq yo-yo test, a national standard for fitness used by professional academies.

AFC Wimbledon Academy Head of Coaching, Jeremy Sauer, said: “Alfie has worked really hard this year with Jon Phillips (Under-15s manager) and he has developed a lot. He joins Daniel Ano and Seanan McKillop to make it three pre-scholars from the Under-15s.

"Alfie did the national test for fitness recently and got up to level 36. That was the highest score achieved out of all the Under-15s and Under-16s players at clubs from the Premier League to League 2. Only an Under-18 has beaten it and this means Alfie is in the top-20 in the country for all academy players in the country since they started doing this test a few years ago. That is brilliant and Alfie is also a clever, creative midfielder who should have a bright future.”

Under-13 player Ethan has shown enough promise at such a young age for Wimbledon’s Academy coaches to offer him a pre-scholarship.

“Ethan has developed strongly during the last season and acquitted himself well when we put him in for an Under-15s match,” Jeremy added. “He is a box-to-box midfielder, who is also good with both feet, and Mark Robinson (Academy Manager) is excited by him as a player.

“Both Alfie and Ethan signing is great news for the academy and these players are the future of this club.”

Saturday and Sunday offers a chance for Wimbledon supporters to watch the next generation of players at the club with everyone invited to the two-day youth football festival at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.

Jeremy added: “We put games on last year against Charlton and Reading and this weekend we have Swindon and QPR. We want as many supporters as possible to come along. We are trying to get exposure for the academy and we want supporters to come down, see the good work we are doing, and be proud of it.”

The club’s Under-16s will provide the “showcase” match on Sunday with a talented crop that became national champions as Under-13s in 2010. Many of those players will form part of Mark Robinson’s Under-18s squad next season after coming through the ranks together.

The schedule for the weekend is as follows:

Saturday 4 May

10.00 am: Under 9s & Under-10s v Swindon Town

12 noon: Under-12s v Swindon Town

2.00 pm: U13s v Swindon Town

Sunday 5 May

10.00 am: Under-11s v Swindon Town

12 noon: Under-15s v QPR

2.00 pm: Under-16s v QPR

4.00 pm: Under-14s v Swindon Town

The middle bar at the club will be open on both days, but no alcohol will be allowed pitch side.

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