Captain on tonight's Cardiff cup tie
Captain Barry Fuller has missed just two matches in two seasons since joining AFC Wimbledon and the experienced right-back believes he is fitter than ever before in his career.
birthday.stTonight’s Capital One Cup tie at Cardiff is the first of three matches in a week, but Fuller reckons he is at his physical peak as he approaches his 31
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Fuller says he will be rallying his team-mates to meet the challenges ahead – and put Saturday’s disappointment behind them.
“It is an honour when I wear the Wimbledon shirt and to wear the captain’s armband is a privilege,” said Fuller. “It is something I thrive on and I feel that I can rally the boys in training when it needs to be done and in games. We go to a lovely ground and a Championship side with nothing to lose. We can go there and express ourselves, especially after the disappointment of Saturday. We will be raring to go as we want to try and get another cup run going.
“I have missed just one game in each of the two seasons I have been here. I am nearly 31, but I am the fittest I have ever been in my career. I don’t miss a training session through fatigue or injury and I look after myself. The manager’s philosophy and what he believes in helps. Since I had a serious injury a few seasons back I have worked on my fitness. When the manager gives us a day off I make sure that I recover well. If I need to do a bit of work in the pool or the gym I will do that.
That shows with the games I have played as I have made over 100 appearances for the club now. It is something I am really proud of.” “It is about looking after your body. I have learned how to manage my body to work alongside the manager’s training programme.
Fuller added that helping AFC Wimbledon’s young players to progress is something that he is happy to do, especially at such a bright time for emerging talent.
“It was a shame that Will Nightingale picked up an injury last season because he was doing brilliantly for us,” said Fuller. “He showed that he has got all the attributes and someone like Paul Robinson coming in can really help. Will can pull him aside and ask ‘Robbo’ a few things about training and games. I think Will has a big future ahead of him.
“In training I will try and help them. Even when they are not on your side in 11 versus 11 matches and five-a-side you can help them during a break. The young players we have will take it on board because they are all willing to learn. Ben Harrison has Callum Kennedy who he can go to and there is a lot of experienced players who the young lads can learn from.”
The full six-minute interview with Barry Fuller is on Dons Player.