Full Dons Player interview with new striker
Matt Tubbs believes he’s in the right place to reignite a career that has stalled in the last couple of seasons after signing for AFC Wimbledon.
Matt’s career had been all about upward momentum since he made the breakthrough at Salisbury City with subsequent promotions and big cup runs at Crawley Town, but an injury curtailed his early progress at AFC Bournemouth. Following stints at Rotherham and back at Crawley Town, Matt decided to join the Dons on a season-long loan despite interest from several clubs.
Here’s the full extract of Matt’s interview for Dons Player shortly after he signed.
Having done battle with the Dons so many times over the years how does it feel to now be a Wimbledon player?
I’ve had a lot of tussles with Wimbledon during my time at Crawley and Salisbury and they were always tough games. The crowd were always brilliant and I’ve been involved in some really good games here in the past. Hopefully, there will be more to come next season. Throughout my career I’ve played in teams that have been promoted and there’s no better feeling. The plan here is to get promotion so that Wimbledon can be a League 1 team.
We spoke to Dannie Bulman last week after he signed and what will it be like to link-up with him again?
He was the joker in the dressing room at Crawley and I’m sure he will not change now that he’s here! But Dannie is a fantastic player who could have done a good job in League 1 again. At a League 2 club I think he will be one of the best players in the division.
Often when you’re aiming to build-up a squad there can be a snowball effect when key players join and it can lead to more additions. Is that the way you see it?
The manager here is trying to put a squad together to challenge for promotion next season and there is no reason why we can’t do that. With the existing squad from last season and the players the manager is aiming to bring in we could challenge.
Having played against Wimbledon quite a few times over the years what are your impressions of the club?
This is a good fans club and the supporters are passionate about their team. The challenge for me personally is to play games and score goals so that I can be a part of it.
Is your game different now since the days when you were scoring goals against the Dons?
It’s always been my game to play on the last man. Hopefully if I’ve got players around me who can create chances then I will be there to put them away. It’s something that I’ve done all the way throughout my career and I don’t intend to stop now.
You may be approaching 30 now, but strikers such as Rickie Lambert have shown what can be done by getting better with age. Is that the way you see it?
There is no age restriction for me on when I should be stepping down out of the league. It’s about having a good season and then seeing what happens. I think this club is pushing in the right direction. I’ve met the manager and spoken to him quite a lot. He speaks highly of the club and he’s always pushing the club forward. If he can get the players in that he wants and the fans all pull together then there’s no reason why we cannot get promoted.
How much interest was there in you this summer and why did you decide to join Wimbledon?
I had offers from League 1, League 2 and Conference clubs and it was a decision I made to come here. The manager was a big factor. It’s a case of me coming here now and repaying the manager’s faith in me.
How do you sum up what went wrong for you at AFC Bournemouth?
It was frustrating because within a few weeks of signing there I required a double hernia operation. That set me back and I did not play for the rest of the season after that. We did not start too well the following season and then Eddie Howe took over. Eddie has done a fantastic job, but he had his own principles and players that he wanted to bring in. It put me down the pecking order. Though Eddie said that I could stay, my chances would have been limited. I thought that I wanted to play football and that’s why I decided to branch out on loan. I joined Crawley last January on loan and played quite well there.
How much are you therefore looking forward to getting started at AFC Wimbledon?
I cannot wait and I’m really looking forward to getting started. It’s hopefully going to be a good season and we want to be up near the top come the end of the season.