Defender gains match fitness versus Watford
Young defender Will Nightingale increased his match sharpness with a run-out for the Under-21s against Watford yesterday.
The 19-year-old, who had not played a game since featuring for the first-team against Sutton United in pre-season due to a thigh injury, got 75 minutes under his belt as the Dons were beaten 3-1 at Watford's training ground.
Mark Phillips, Chris Arthur, Harry Pell, Jake Nicholson, Kevin Sainte-Luce and Ade Azeez all increased their match sharpness in the match against the Hornets, who also had several first-teamers in their ranks.
Under-21s coach Alan Reeves said: “This was Will’s first game for a month and I brought him off with about 15 minutes to go. Will did okay, but he was a bit ring rusty and was tired near the end. Watford included players who had featured against Norwich on Saturday and it was a strong game because we gave minutes to some of our first-team players who needed it too.”
The friendly was arranged after a scheduled pre-season trip to America for the Under-21s was cancelled at the last minute.
Wimbledon edged into a 1-0 lead yesterday with one of their trialists netting, before Watford took the upper hand.
Alan Reeves is in the process of arranging further friendlies ahead of a first competitive game in the Final Third Development League for the Under-21s at Leyton Orient on 9 September.
“For the last couple of weeks I’ve not had trialists in because we were meant to be going to America this week,” added Alan. “You need to see these players play in games and we will get more trailists in during the next week or two. I’m not going to rush into it though and they have to be better than we’ve got at the moment.”