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Neal salutes cup idea

27 September 2013

Wimbledon will take Gillingham match very seriously

believes the Under-21 competition is a great idea.Neal ArdleyThe Dons entertain Gillingham on Tuesday night in the inaugural Premier League Cup and Wimbledon manager

It is a new competition open to Premier League and Football League clubs that hold licences to operate academies and Neal says that the Dons will be taking it very seriously.

, the Wimbledon boss said: “When I was academy manager at Cardiff I started an Under-21 set-up before it became a requirement. I am a big believer that it is very tough for young players between the age of 17 and 21 to be ready for first-team football. You will end up discarding a lot of players if you do not give them the time to develop. We are not in a competitive Under-21 league because as a category three club that would be a lot of expense.Dons PlayerDuring an in-depth interview for

has done a great job to arrange our development games this season and we also have the London and Surrey Senior Cup competitions to come. I think this new competition for Under-21s is a great idea though because the games have to be played at the main grounds for each of the clubs. Therefore you will have everything that has to be in place for a first-team game and it will be run very professionally. We are going to take it very seriously and we will have a good go at it. Shaun gets them to play to win and they have done very well so far. There will be a little bit of pressure on them and let’s see how they do.”Shaun North

Kevin Sainte-Luce. and Will Antwi flanking Neal Ardley after they signed professional contracts in the summer. All four of those players are likely to be involved on Tuesday night, along with first-teamers Tom Beere and Charlie Fayers, Youssouf Bamba, Chace JacquartOur picture above shows (from left-right)

 .Young TalentThe Hastings Observer today published a story about Charlie Fayers after his recent appearances on the bench for the first-team and you can read this by clicking on 

 .  Gillingham ticketsThe game on Tuesday, 1 October, (7.00 pm start) at the Cherry Red Records Stadium is open to spectators with admission at £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 

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