Midfielder on his return to Crawley
Dannie Bulman returns to Crawley tomorrow still retaining plenty of motivation that he can help inspire another period of success during the twilight of his career.
The 36-year-old was a mainstay of Crawley’s midfield during their rise from the Conference to League 1, a spell that was the most successful in his playing career.
Speaking to Dons Player ahead of his first return to Crawley since leaving the club in 2014, Dannie talked about the challenge of creating a similar winning mentality with Wimbledon. Starting such a habit at Crawley would also give him an opportunity to put one over on his golf partner Jimmy Dack! Now assistant manager at Crawley, Jimmy was a coach during Dannie’s days at Stevenage.
“Jimmy is a hard grafter and he will get them at it,” said Dannie. “They will be a hard-working team and it will be a test for us. Jimmy is the only person I know well over there because in the last two years there have been a lot of changes at the club. In terms of promotions (it was the best part of my career) at Crawley. It was a big part of my career considering where we came from and what we achieved in such a short space of time.
“I sat down with the manager here after last season ended and I was asked what I saw in a promotion-winning team. The one thing I said was team spirit and character. That is what gets you points on the board. Not everyone has to be the most technically gifted because you need all sorts of players to win a promotion.
“We had a lot of characters at Crawley and you had to survive in the dressing room! If you stepped out of line you got told. A few players have come in during the summer here and they are a bit chirpy. It is good because they have fitted in well.”
Dannie reckons that Neal Ardley has assembled a quality squad at Wimbledon and he believes the bold showing in defeat at Cardiff was a step in the right direction.
“It was quite a good display and we put a shift in, but one moment of quality was the difference between the two sides,” Dannie added. “We have to take heart from a decent performance. We are trying to build a winning mentality and we are going to be disappointed with losing, but we cannot let that affect us. We are looking forward to Saturday.”
The full interview with Dannie Bulman is on Dons Player, along with Neal Ardley’s team update ahead of Crawley.