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Simon targets improvement

3 May 2013

First-team coach talks about moving forward

believes that AFC Wimbledon will be better equipped to compete in League 2 next season after getting their recruitment right since January.Simon Bassey 

that not only did Wimbledon improve their squad during the last transfer window, but they have also put together a database of players for recruitment purposes this summer.Dons PlayerSimon, who celebrated his testimonial at the club last summer, told Rob Cornell on

"Next season I think that we will be better equipped for the league,” said the Wimbledon coach. “In the short space of time since Neal Ardley and Neil Cox came in we have got the recruitment right. From January until the end of the season I think we were eighth in the league in terms of points picked up during that period. We have worked hard and we will continue to do that. We are looking to recruit the players to complement our existing players. If we can do that then hopefully we can have a real good go at it next season.

“Since he came in Neal has done a lot of the coaching. Especially because of the position we were in, Neal felt it was right that he was out there on the training field. This year has involved a lot less coaching for me, but a lot more games for me to take in. We have been putting a database of players together. If we have needed players at short notice then this has worked well. For example, when Neil Sullivan was called back, we managed to get John Sullivan in because he was a player I had seen in matches. Yado Mambo was another one in that category and Jake Reeves. When you are down there you need to recruit well and since Neal Ardley came in, it is a job I have done a bit more. I think our recruitment has been good.”

Of course, Simon Bassey had a spell as caretaker manager earlier this season that yielded a valuable six points out of a possible 12. Filling such a role provided “immense” pride for the 37-year-old and he was relieved there was such a positive conclusion to a tough 2012/13 at Wimbledon.

“It was certainly a testing season – that’s for sure,” Simon added. “Good team spirit, good recruitment and a little bit of luck along the way was the key. Everyone pulled in the right direction for one common goal and it was a fantastic ending to a difficult season all round.

"I got six points from four games (as Caretaker Manager) and I was pleased with that. I was immensely proud because I have supported Wimbledon since I was a boy and to get a chance to manage the club was schoolboy’s own stuff in a way. Though I felt we could have got something at Oxford too, six points seemed to be a good return at the time and at the end of the season it looked even more important.”

Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Simon Bassey on our premium site.


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