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Michael seeks new recruits

17 October 2013

Trials for the Wimbledon College Academy

’s ultimate aim is to bring more players through – and he is now seeking new recruits for the AFC Wimbledon College Academy.Michael HamiltonDespite a 100 per cent start to the league season,

  – progressed up to the Football League Youth Alliance with the Under-18s .Nas Majeed and Rob SwitonMichael, who is Head of the club’s South Thames College Academy programme, is determined to maintain upward momentum for his young talent after two of last season’s crop –

Trials for next season’s college academy take place on Thursday, 31 October, and potential recruits can apply using the link at the bottom of this page.

came through Wimbledon’s college academy programme and Michael says he is continually looking for talented players who may have missed the boat with professional clubs.Jim FenlonCurrent first-teamer

“You can win games week in and week out by big margins, but it is all about boys progressing,” said Michael. “The aim is to either develop these players at this club or to play at the highest level that they possibly can. It is great when you are winning, but the bigger buzz is when players develop through the ranks. It has not surprised me that Rob and Nas have made the step-up to play to the scholars. They have shown that players can be picked up from Sunday League and there is that opportunity to progress. Rob and Nas have now had their college timetables changed so that they get more football contact time in their scholarships.

“We had 200 players for our college academy trials last year and we are hoping for a bigger pool this year so that we have more players to choose from. There is always talent out there and sometimes good players get ignored because they don’t have a professional club on their CV. Players like Dwight Gayle at Crystal Palace, who was with non league Stansted until two years ago, and Chris Arthur, have shown what can be achieved with players who develop late.”

prolific form so far this season with four goals. Wimbledon have so far won all three matches. A 4-2 opening day victory against Carshalton Athletic was followed by wins against Corinthian Casuals (6-1) and Whyteleafe (4-0). Jaszime Johnson scored against Whyteleafe with Harry Bruce and Dalvin Donnelly also on target. Jaevon Mitchell has been in  Though Michael is focused on that bigger picture of developing players, it’s certainly a bonus to be top of the Football Conference Youth League Premier Division. Despite a 3-1 cup defeat yesterday,

“I think we are so much more advanced this season in terms of preparation and ability,” added Michael. “There is a lot more competition for places than last season when certain players knew that they were going to start games week in and week out. Pre-season went really well as we only lost one match out of eight. We were therefore pretty confident going into the first match against Carshalton. That was a tough game, but it was 6-1 against Corinthian Casuals and it could have been more. We have players who have impressed me a lot so far. Academy Manager Mark Robinson has seen them play and he has already highlighted players that may get opportunities to step-up into his squad in the future if they can continue their progress.”

 .College AcademyThe AFC Wimbledon College Academy offers an attractive option for young footballers to combine playing with gaining an academic qualification and trials for next season’s intake will be staged on Thursday, 31 October. Students get to play competitive football and study for a BTEC in Sports (level 2/3) or for a BTEC in Business at South Thames College Merton Campus. For more information about the programme and attending trials, please click on 

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