New signing aims to reignite his career
Chris Arthur did not have far to turn for advice about joining the Dons when AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley offered him a chance to reignite his career.
During an in-depth interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Chris revealed that former Wimbledon player Lionel Morgan, his advisor and friend, told him good things about the club’s support. Having also played with ex-Dons Ed Harris and Romone Rose, Chris certainly knew all about AFC Wimbledon – and he attended the FA Cup tie at Milton Keynes in December.
We this afternoon publish the full interview with Chris, which appeared on Dons Player last night. Subscribers to our premium site can now also watch a video interview with Neal Ardley on his summer transfer plans and the thoughts of Barry Fuller on joining Wimbledon.
Neal Ardley’s summer recruitment campaign is now underway and the first player through the door is Chris Arthur. What does it mean Chris to join AFC Wimbledon?
I am delighted to sign for a club with a lot of passion because it has great supporters and a good history. I am looking forward to starting next season on a high. Neal came to watch me play in one of my games towards the end of last season and the interest has grown since then. I have wanted to sign since that point onwards.
So that sounds like Neal never had to use his powers of persuasion very much then?
I had a meeting with Neal at the training ground and he sold the club to me. Straight away his ambitions matched mine. The way that he wants to play football and the type of player that he wants to bring in appealed to me straight away. That made my decision easy.
I noticed from your early days that you were at QPR with Romone Rose, who played for Wimbledon in the club’s Ryman League days, and Ed Harris, who was part of our Conference promotion team, was your captain at Havant. How much advice did you take from those players?
Ed Harris could not speak more highly about the club because he was part of the squad that helped Wimbledon to promotion and he loved it here. He told me that AFC Wimbledon is a great club that has a full stadium every week. When I heard that it was a no-brainer really. I spoke to Romone the other day too and he enjoyed it here. I attended the FA Cup tie (at Milton Keynes) because I am a good mate of Toby Ajala. He played in that game and helped set-up the first goal of course. Lionel Morgan also sold the club to me and told me the club's supporters are great. Lionel knows Neal Ardley and what he is all about too.
What are the strong parts of your game and has Neal given you any indication of how he wants you to play?
I am direct and I like the ball at my feet. I enjoy taking players on and getting crosses and shots in. You will see a lot of running from me because that is the sort of player I am. Neal has told me that he wants me to go out and express myself, to be a winger, and go out and show what I can do. Neal wants me to go try and win games for him.
What did you learn from your previous experiences in the Football League that can serve you well for next season?
At Rotherham I did not play, but at Northampton I played a fair bit until a new manager (Aidy Boothroyd) came in and he had his own ideas. I know more about the league now and I come back as a more experienced player. I am more confident about coming into this league and doing well because I am better equipped now.
I guess the hard work starts now for you and you will be keeping yourself ticking over during the close season?
I am going to be here training and working hard. I will be making sure that my base fitness is high so that I am ready for the start of pre-season training on 24 June.