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Match Previews

Preview for cup tie tonight

1 October 2013

A chance to watch new signing and first-teamers

will make his first appearance at the Cherry Red Records Stadium in tonight’s Premier League Cup against Gillingham (7.00 pm start) and he believes Wimbledon’s coaching methods will get the best out of him as a player.Harry CooksleyNew signing

The 18-year-old, who signed professional forms with the Dons just 12 days ago, made Aldershot’s first-team squad last season, but he was released at the end of 2012/13 and he is hoping to reignite his career at Wimbledon.

As a new competition for Premier League and Football League clubs with licensed academies, the Premier League Cup offers a great opportunity for midfielder Cooksley and other young players to impress.

. “We will have a strong side out and we want to get a win and progress into the next round. Our last game was against Stevenage and they had an experienced side out, but we managed to get a draw against them.Shaun North“I cannot wait for this because I just want to show everyone what I am about as a player,” said Harry, pictured above with Under-21 Development Coach

“We have been working on patterns of play, including playing the ball out from defence to central midfield. We have not been playing the ball as long. Neal Ardley spoke to me after training last week; he said that I need to know when to run with the ball and when to lay it off. I am still learning and hopefully I will be able to show that I am progressing tonight.

”Shaun is so enthusiastic with the boys. He is always having a joke with us, but he knows his stuff too. Shaun has got us playing the right way; we are not just lumping it forward to get results and he is a great coach.”

Shaun North, who helped Premier League players including Asmir Begovic and Gary O’Neil progress to the top during his time as academy manager at Portsmouth, is eager to instil a winning mentality in his players.

“The most important thing for a young player is to work hard; they have to be very disciplined in the way that they conduct their lives,” Shaun said. “That goes for when they are away from the football club and when they are here because they have to work hard. Football is all about winning. You want to encourage players to do the right thing at the right time and enjoy their football, but ultimately it is about winning.

“Unfortunately for the first-team on Saturday, they were having a fantastic afternoon until almost the last kick of the game and then all of their hard work went out of the window. It is not winning at all costs at development level because it is about the boys progressing. The ultimate win for me is getting boys into the first-team, but we are going into tonight to try and win a game of football.”

Gillingham ticketsAdmission is £5 for adults, and free for Under-18s. For a seat in the Directors’ Box and access to the President’s Lounge, where a buffet will be served, the cost is £10. Places for this can be booked via our online ticket page by clicking on -Will Antwi, Kevin Sainte-Luce and Chris Arthur will be involved tonight for a match that spectators are welcome to attend.

-Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interviews with Shaun North, Harry Cooksley and Charlie Fayers on our premium site.      

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