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American test for Dons

11 August 2014

Alan Reeves leads Young Dons on tour

AFC Wimbledon’s young talents face a challenge of a different kind later this month when they swap domestic football action in Torquay for an international fixture in the USA.

A young Dons squad consisting of six Under-21s and 11 second year Under-18s will take on New England Force as part of a tour funded by their American hosts. There is a link between AFC Wimbledon and New England Force as both have Admiral as their kit suppliers.

Under the guidance of Dons coaches Alan Reeves and Mark Robinson, Wimbledon’s youngsters will train for three days on a brand new 3G pitch based in Stamford, Connecticut.

They will then play at John Jay High School on Saturday, 23 August, against New England Force, a club formed two years ago who are looking to play in the North American Soccer League next year.

It will be a far cry from a fixture for the Under-18s at Torquay as Wimbledon are due to play their first match in the Youth Alliance Cup tomorrow. However, Under-21 coach Alan Reeves (pictured) has warned that the trip to America will be far from a holiday for Wimbledon’s touring squad.

“It will be an opportunity to integrate the Under-18 lads into the Under-21 squad for when we need them to step-up during the season,” said Alan. “I’ll be able to take a closer look at them and it’s all about development for the squad. It’s certainly not a holiday. We will be training at good facilities and building towards a match on the Saturday. It will be a good test for us as we will be playing a side of a decent standard. It should be a good experience for our young squad.”

The match will raise funds for charity as it is being staged in support of Katonah-Lewisboro Special Education.

Rebecca Bourla, Co-President of Katonah-Lewisboro Special Education Teachers Association, said: “This game will have fans in the stands from the local community and beyond. To have an opportunity to raise awareness of SEPTA in our district with such a high profile game is tremendously exciting.”

An AFC Wimbledon Under-21 side consisting of several trialists were beaten 4-0 at Reading on Saturday.

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