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Neal doing a "fantastic" job

25 September 2013

Interview with Ben Thatcher

to keep AFC Wimbledon punching above their weight at the top end of League 2.Neal Ardleyhas backed Ben Thatcher 

at the AFC Wimbledon Legends Golf Day, sponsored by Your Golf Travel, the former Wimbledon full-back praised the job that his old team-mate has done after nearly 12 months in charge.Dons PlayerSpeaking to

“Neal has done a fantastic job so far,” said Thatcher (who is pictured taking a shot at our golf event by Zoe Linkson). “He had a look at it last year before bringing his own players in during the summer. What has to be realised is the budget that he is working under, which is well below the clubs around Wimbledon. They are punching above their weight and long may that continue.

“The club did ever so well to stay up last season. There is a big turnaround in terms of players every season at League 2 level and you are competing for players with the likes of Chesterfield and Fleetwood. They can offer double the wages that Wimbledon can and that is minus one before you have even started. To be competing at the top with these teams speaks volumes for how well Neal and AFC Wimbledon are doing.

.”Simon Bassey’ and Coxy“I know that people spoke highly of the job that Neal was doing at Cardiff, but it was not easy to make the step-up from running a successful academy to managing at first-team level in the Football League. I think that Neal has learned quickly and he has got good people around him with ‘

Thatcher, who played for Wimbledon between 1996 and 2000, retains a lot of affection for the Dons and he recalled a particularly tough introduction with the old Crazy Gang after joining the club.

involved,” he added. “It was an eye-opener because I was only 21 at the time. I don’t think I spoke for three weeks because I was too scared. But I had great times at Wimbledon.Robbie Earle and Andy Thorn, Vinnie Jones“I caught the tail end of the Crazy Gang with the likes of

“I have had good friends there since AFC Wimbledon started. My boys go down there and I was at quite a few matches last season. I was there at Manchester for the play-off final; I have been following it all and it has been a great story.”

.Nick Addicott, and Ivor Heller, Andrew HardingThatcher, who plays off a handicap of 16, was part of a team that came third in the AFC Wimbledon Golf Day with Your Golf Travel co-founder

 . We will feature more pictures from the event on the official website tomorrow.Golf TalentIf you missed news of a superb achievement from Neil Cox at the AFC Wimbledon Legends Golf Day, please click on 

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