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Charlie relishes Dons move

3 January 2014

New loan signing on joining Wimbledon

Charlie Wyke said it was an easy decision to leave his hometown of Middlesbrough for AFC Wimbledon once he heard that the Dons were interested in him.

The 21-year-old wasted no time getting down here after receiving the green light to join Wimbledon and embarked on a six-hour car journey yesterday to get himself ready for a first training session with his new team-mates today.

to hear Charlie’s thoughts on joining AFC Wimbledon.Dons You Tube  Click on  Charlie is pictured above (left) with Neal Ardley after training, which today took place at Tooting & Mitcham, and he’s eligible for tomorrow’s match at Wycombe Wanderers after signing on loan in time.

Speaking to Rob Cornell on Dons Player, Charlie said: “Wimbledon watched me last season when I was on loan at Hartlepool and they must have been impressed to bring me here. I got a phone call last week saying that I should be prepared to come down here with just a day’s notice. That happened and I managed to get myself here and enjoy training today.

“When my coach Dave Parnaby (Middlesbrough Academy Manager) heard that Wimbledon were interested he recommended the club straight away. He said that they are a big club and play good football so it was a good place for me to go. As long as I’m playing games and scoring goals then it does not matter where I am.”

Charlie aims to build on a promising spell at Hartlepool last season when he did enough for the club to extend his stay at Victoria Park to six months.

“That was a really good experience and it was a key influence on my career,” he added. “It is clear that the manager here wants me to work hard up front and get goals. That is what I’ve come here to do.”

 .Transfer newsNeil Cox, who starred for Middlesbrough in his playing days, was a key influence in the move and if you missed our earlier interview with Wimbledon’s assistant manager, click on 

 Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Charlie on our premium site.

Charlie, who came right through the ranks at Middlesbrough, earned a professional contract with his boyhood club after scoring 30 goals for the youth team in 2010/11. He’s not the only member of the Wyke family to star for Middlesbrough’s youth teams with his younger brother Matthew also at the club.

 The brothers featured in an article for the Middlesbrough matchday programme at the start of this season and this is published below:

Charlie and Matthew Wyke share a dream of playing together for Boro in the same forward line.

Little brother Matthew joined Charlie at Rockliffe Park this summer after leaving St Peter’s School, South Bank, where the immortal Wilf Mannion honed his early skills, and is determined to make the most of his first-year Academy scholarship.

Charlie, 20, is working his way back to match fitness following a hip operation in the summer and anxious to build on the progress he made last season following a six-month loan spell with neighbours Hartlepool.

He managed 25 appearances for Pools, scoring two goals, before injury curtailed his season and is keen to enjoy more loan experience this season.

“It did me the world of good getting experience of League football,” he says. “There’s no substitute for playing in front of crowds and sampling the matchday atmosphere.

“My priority at the moment is to just to get games after my belt for the U-21s following my operation. I’m pleased with my progress so far and looking forward to what this season might bring.”

Matthew, who was 17 on Wednesday, was part of the U-18 squad that took Holland by storm in pre-season, with victories over Twente, Willem II and Ajax.

“I’m enjoying every moment of my time here at Rockliffe Park,” he says. “It takes a bit of getting used to being at the training ground full time and with all the first team players, but I’m relishing the challenges.

“I scored 10 goals for the U-16s last year and three in pre-season, and hopefully I can take my chances when they come.”

Matthew is quick to point out that they are different types of striker. “Charlie is more technical, whereas I’m more about pace and power,” he says.

“We used to play together in the back garden – though sometimes it would end in tears! Charlie adds:

“Obviously all the family are really happy. We’ve been Boro supporters since we were little and I was a ball boy for the UEFA Cup semi-final second leg against Steaua Bucharest at the Riverside.

“Dad comes to all our games and we get lots of encouragement.”

Their dream of playing up front together could come true this season at U-21 level. “It’s my ambition to break into the U-21 side this season,” says Matthew.

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