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Mark's Wimbledon vow

24 June 2014

New defender ready to give his all for the Dons

New signing Mark Phillips says he’s a “no-nonsense” defender who will give 100 per cent every time he pulls on the AFC Wimbledon shirt.

The experienced centre-back revealed during an interview for Dons Player that he turned down other clubs to join Wimbledon and it means that Mark will be reunited with Neal Ardley as the pair played together at Millwall.

And Mark is relishing the prospect of playing in a new-look Dons side next season, which will also feature Adebayo Akinfenwa (the pair are pictured doing battle in a Southend v Northampton match).

“I’ve played against Wimbledon a few times in the last few years and it’s a great club,” said Mark. “Neal was a quality player as everyone knows and for me as a youngster coming through at Millwall he was a brilliant older pro to have around the place. He would encourage and talk to us about different parts of the game, which was a big help because he’d played at a higher level. Neal is a forward-thinking manager and I’m looking forward to playing for him because I know he will get the best out of his players.

“I would say that I’m a no-nonsense defender who wears his heart on his sleeve. I will give 100 per cent for every minute that I’m on the pitch. I’d like to think that I can play a bit, but I’m an organiser and communicator and hopefully I can also chip in with a few goals.

“There were two or three other clubs that were very interested in taking me, but Wimbledon was my first choice. The squad here is looking good for next season and I’m positive about how we will do. I’ve played with and against Adebayo Akinfenwa so I know that he’s a handful. But he’s also a very good player with good skill and he will be a great lad for team spirit.”

Mark experienced a League 2 promotion with Brentford in 2009, alongside Alan Bennett, and having also been a part of Southend squads pushing for promotion, he knows what is required to be fighting at the right end of the table.

“It obviously takes quality with a good squad,” the 32-year-old added. “At Brentford we did not have the most talented of players but we had a real togetherness. Everyone worked their socks off for each other. I’m happy to accept responsibility in coming here for keeping clean sheets, but it’s about goals as well.

“I know Alan Bennett well from my Brentford days and he’s a very good player. Sometimes you can be a bit nervous when you come into a new squad, but there are quite a few familiar faces here and that will help to settle me in.”

 The full seven-minute interview with Mark Phillips appeared on Dons Player yesterday, along with a transfer update from Neal Ardley.


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