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Italian re-match for Dons

30 May 2013

AFC Wimbledon announce details of Monza friendly

We are delighted to confirm that the Dons will travel to Italy for a prestigious pre-season friendly at AC Monza Brianza 1912 on Saturday, 27 July.

This match will be part of a one-week training camp in northern Italy with Neal Ardley putting the likes of Jack Midson (pictured above with Kevin Sainte-Luce after the Fleetwood match) through their paces at Monza’s excellent training base.

The tour and friendly match have been made possible through the generous sponsorship of Anthony Armstrong Emery, who is owner of the Italian club and the EcoHouse Group, a major Brazilian real estate company operating out of its European headquarters in Richmond.

For older Dons supporters, the friendly will bring back memories of Wimbledon’s 1976 clash at Monza in the Anglo-Italian Cup Final when the hosts earned a narrow 1-0 win in front of 26,000 spectators.

Anthony Armstrong Emery said: "I have always known and respected the Wimbledon story and I am friends with some of the supporters. Having recently taken over at Monza and as an Englishman, I was keen to arrange a prestigious friendly against an English side. With the Wimbledon connection we didn't have to think that hard. With the match being a re-run of the 1976 Anglo-Italian Cup Final, it is the icing on the cake. We look forward to hosting the Dons and to building a long lasting relationship between the two clubs."

There will be an open afternoon training session on Friday, 26 July, when supporters can watch the Dons shaping up for the match, which will take place on the following day (kick-off time to be confirmed). Travel and hotel advice will be published on the official website in due course, along with more details about the trip.

 Commercial Director, Ivor Heller, said: "There is no way that we could have contemplated such a trip without the generous sponsorship granted by Anthony so we are very grateful to him for his kind help and support. We are really keen to have as many Wimbledon fans in Italy as possible. This is a big ‘first’ for the club and it would be superb if we could take a decent following.”

Monza, who are currently chasing promotion via the play-offs from the Lega Pro Seconda Divisione, have a rich history with the club having spent long spells in Serie B and their former players include Patrice Evra, Pierluigi Casiraghi and AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

Ivor Heller, who pioneered AFC Wimbledon's first sponsorship deal with Sports Interactive almost 11 years ago, has been a busy man lately and in a video interview for Dons Player he brought us up to date with the latest commercial activity at the club. During the interview, which can now be viewed on our premium site, Ivor announced details of a new sponsor for the club.

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