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Neal: signs of progress

14 May 2014

Second part of Neal's end of season speech

Neal Ardley believes that AFC Wimbledon made significant strides behind the scenes during 2013/14 and he will give “absolutely everything” to ensure results are better on the pitch next season.

Despite admitting his disappointment with the outcome of last season, Neal pointed to advancements in sports science, recruitment and youth development as signs of progress.

 of Neal’s speech appeared on You Tube yesterday. Part one . You TubeNeal was speaking during his speech at the end of season dinner, part two of which can now be viewed by clicking on 

The Wimbledon manager said: “A lot of the things that we’re trying to build are in the infrastructure and it doesn’t always come out in the results on a Saturday. We worked really hard last season on the medical and sports science side of things. We cannot do anything about impact injuries but we are under control of muscle injuries and we put together statistics for that. The outcome was that only two per cent of the players were out (training time and game availability) through muscle injuries last season. That’s part of the good work that the medical team and the club doctors have done.

“We also worked hard on our recruitment throughout the season. Simon Bassey headed that up with two of our scouts Steve Johnson and Bob Mapleson. We have covered 250 games ranging from Under-21s football through to League 1 in search of players that may be out there and young talent. If we compare this to the season before last then it’s a massive step forward. In terms of match analysis of games we have our own video analyst who does video clips for us so that we can show the players and work on things.

“We also worked hard on producing an Under-21 season thanks to Shaun North, who has been fantastic. It has carried on the good work that the academy do and has bridged the gap from the youth set-up to the first-team. Hopefully, between us all we can start producing a lot more of our own players.

“The charitable foundation has also been formed at the club, which is a step in the right direction. The infrastructure of the club has massively stepped forward. With the work being done at the training ground these are things that we’re trying to progress for the next league. We’re trying to put things in place over a process of years that will make a big difference to the club being able to progress.”

place finish in League 2 fell below his expectations.thIn the short-term, Neal is determined to do better next season after he admitted that last season’s 20

“I’m disappointed and next season I want to do better,” Neal added. “I strive constantly to do better and I promise you that I’ll do absolutely everything to make sure that results are better on the pitch next season.”

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