A focus on a club with Dons connections
With just 18 days until the big kick-off remaining, our latest preview ahead of the new season focuses on Oxford United.
We’ve been counting down to the start of 2014/15 by featuring Wimbledon’s opponents next season – in reverse order on the fixture list – as part of the Football League’s “Wall of Colour” campaign.
AFC Wimbledon will be encouraging fans to wear their scarves, shirts, rosettes, hats, and anything else in blue and yellow to help the Dons to victory against Shrewsbury. We are also planning to run an event on Saturday, 9 August, to fit in with the Football League’s aim to celebrate the big kick-off at clubs all around the country.
The sixth club to feature in our countdown is Oxford United.
Dean Smalley, Dave Kitson, Sean Rigg, James Constable, Scott DaviesPlayers out:
Michael Collins, Danny HyltonPlayers in:
Jonathan Meades (pictured celebrating his vital goal at Gillingham in 2012/13), Michael Collins, Danny HyltonFormer Dons:
8thFinishing position last season:
Saturday, 22 November (a), Saturday, 11 April (h)When we meet:
W WLast two results versus the Dons:
61 milesDistance between two clubs:
Oxford United announced a surprise managerial shake-up earlier this month with Michael Appleton taking on the role of the club’s new head coach in place of Gary Waddock, who had only been appointed in March. Since the appointment of former Blackburn and Portsmouth manager Appleton, the vastly experienced Derek Fazackerley has been installed as the new assistant head coach. A crop of Oxford’s experienced players from last season departed before Appleton took over, including James Constable and Deane Smalley, and veteran striker Dave Kitson announced his retirement this week.
Former Dons loanee Danny Hylton signed for Oxford while Waddock was still manager and another player with Wimbledon connections, Michael Collins, became Appleton’s first signing recently. Conversely, Sean Rigg left Oxford United to become Neal Ardley’s first summer signing at Wimbledon. Jonathan Meades, who had a successful loan spell with the Dons in 2012/13, has yet to feature in a competitive match at Oxford after struggling with injury problems and he will be hoping to force his way into Appleton's plans next season. Several more signings are expected at the Kassam Stadium before the start of next season as the minimum requirement at Oxford is once again likely to be a play-off place.