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The WDON Pompey blog

19 November 2013

Behind the mic with our club commentary team

Judging by the generous donations of cakes and sweets that WDON receive on a weekly basis from their listeners, it appears that our commentary team are as popular as ever.

While striving for professionalism during coverage at grounds all around the country, there are always laughs-a-plenty, and commentary can certainly be eventful too, particularly recently when floodlight failure at Rochdale caused a temporary media blackout.

We brought back the old WDON blog after this match and with Saturday’s game against Portsmouth being so memorable for completely different reasons we decided to ask commentator Rob Cornell (pictured above centre with Alan Bennett and Mikey T in the Brentford press box) to oblige once again. His unique slant on the day is published below.

On an occasion when we asked supporters to come up with their favourite photographs (#MyDonsDay), every Don had their day as Neal Ardley’s men came up with the ammunition to sink the Pompey ship.

WDON was in place, as ever, from the crow’s nest position at the top of the press area in the main stand to capture our own version, but in audio form, of Captain Benno’s men firing a damaging broadside into the League 2 pre-season promotion favourites.

This was a kind of performance that I sensed had been coming. Portsmouth are finding out what life in a tight division is really like with a tough match lying in wait every week. It’s a view that Neal Ardley often adopts most Thursdays when we head to New Malden for pre-match interviews.

 .Your AFC WimbledonThe pre-Pompey build-up was completely unique though to the usual build-up. Last Thursday, I was given privileged, behind-the-scenes access to the extra firepower the Dons possess by witnessing Sports Scientist Jason Moriarty putting the first-team through their paces in the gym. If you haven’t seen this demonstration of fitness, it’s certainly worth a look on our YouTube channel by clicking on 

It showed a group of players and support staff determined and motivated to steady their own ship in the unpredictable waters of League 2.

Such is Jason’s professionalism, he even got involved in the production process back at the club. The balance was right in the video as it showed the meticulous preparation and focus that went into the game, along with the occasional clip of banter, which summed up team spirit.

WDON’s own preparations for broadcast saw the team selection split over two days. Producer Geoff Hawley was in the “David Dimbleby” role for Sunday’s live broadcast for the Dons Trust elections.

The legend that is Mikey T and myself were deployed as a two up front partnership for a match that was long sold-out.

With no Premier League action it was a tightly packed, but well marshalled press box on Saturday. Arriving early provides an opportunity to swap stories of days gone by with former Brighton player Gary Chivers, now working for PA Sport on Saturdays. You’ll never take the Chelsea side out of him, but I think we now have a special place in his heart - certainly any biscuits going have a special place in his stomach!

Not that we can complain ourselves! The flow of treats and generosity to Radio WDON on a home match-day never disappoints. On Saturday we received tasty treats from a Scandinavian listener and it gave us an energy boost prior to the on field action. Well, that’s my excuse anyway!

From our broadcast position, we sense the Dons are up for this one from the start and even when Harry Pell misses a penalty, we detect that our fighting spirit remains intact.

Solid at the back, he’s found a new lease of life at the other end with four goals already this season for his hometown club and earned WDON comparisons to Dons favourite Matt Everard. Regularly referred to as a “leader of men” by his team-mates, he’s also a polite, approachable chap who gives careful consideration to each answer when questioned. The summer acquisition from Gillingham, who helped the Kent club to League 2 title success last season, is rapidly becoming Neal Ardley’s most crucial signing.  On long away trips, I often get asked what are Wimbledon’s players really like? In short, they’re a great bunch! In particular, during the short time I’ve already got to spend with ‘Frammo’ during interviews after-match and at the training ground, he’s been a model professional.

His second after the break was crucial in killing off any Pompey hopes and had the visiting supporters looking towards the lifeboats.

 Further explosive cannon fire came from “Ratter” and “Smudga” to finish off Pompey. As mad, passionate Dons, the match became a joy to commentate on for the WDON commentary team and on days like these we remember the privileged position that we’re in.

Sammy was in buoyant mood as we tapped him up for a video interview, before he made off with his man-of-the-match booty. A more enthusiastic deckhand you will not find! There were many worthy contenders, it must be noted.

As the good ship Womble sets sail for further adventures, we were left pondering once again if this #MyDonsDay could lead to a much more meaningful follow-up called #MyDonsSeason.

to sign-up for our premium site.Dons Player  The next destination for WDON is Bury this Saturday. Match commentary is available via Dons Player. A special offer of two months for one (£4.49) is currently available and Dons Player includes the entire 90 minutes from the Portsmouth match and extended highlights. We wish to thank WDON commentator Geoff Hawley for his help in putting this content together. Click on 

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