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All change for the U-21s

28 July 2014

Alan's update ahead of his first match in charge

New Under-21 coach Alan Reeves has been busy assembling a squad for his first match in charge at Canvey Island tomorrow night (7.30 pm) with eight trialists set to be handed opportunities.

Since his appointment last month, former Wimbledon defender Alan (pictured above) has been looking at potential recruits and he’s also arranged a ground for the Under-21s to play competitive fixtures at next season.

During an in-depth interview for Dons Player, Alan revealed that the Under-21s will play home matches at Merstham FC and this will include competitive fixtures against other professional clubs in the Final Third Development League.

However, before Alan can contemplate those fixtures, his side have pre-season matches arranged, starting with a trip to Ryman Premier outfit Canvey Island.

“It’s been non-stop since I came in,” said Alan. “There are five Under-21s in the squad, but I’ve got the remit to get up to four more in. I’m not going to get players in for the sake of it though and if they’re not good enough then I will keep the numbers as they are. We’ve had eight trialists in this morning for training and they will all be involved at Canvey Island tomorrow night. We will have a look at it afterwards and see if we want to invite those players back.

“As well as arranging friendlies I’ve also had to arrange a ground for the Under-21s to play at. We’ve now finalised that and our home fixtures will be played at Merstham FC. I went along with Neal Ardley to meet with Merstham’s chairman and manager recently and they were very nice. The facilities there are different class too.

“We just thought that if we could get a stadium for the Under-21s to play at and get the fans along then it would feel like a step-up from the Under-18s. The Under-18s play their fixtures at the training ground and this will be a different environment for the Under-21s as they try to build-up to the first-team.”

George Oakley (hamstring) and Will Nightingale (thigh) are ruled out of tomorrow’s match at Canvey Island, but Joe McDonnell, Chace Jacquart and Tom Beere should all feature. Sammy Moore will play a part as he has not travelled to the first-team training camp in Spain due to an issue with his passport.

Ticket prices for the match at Canvey Island are as follows: Adults £8, Concessions £5 (students with valid ID and Over-60s), Under-16s £1.

Dons Player subscribers can watch an eight-minute video interview with Alan Reeves later on today.

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