New signings enjoy open training session
AFC Wimbledon’s first and last summer signings both thoroughly enjoyed the club’s open training session at the stadium today, ahead of Saturday’s League 2 opener against Plymouth.
“The young fans are brilliant,” said centre-back Paul Robinson in his first interview to the club on Dons Player. “You buzz off their energy and enthusiasm and I loved it. It was an enjoyable day and one you take a lot from as a player,” added Robinson, wasting no time in bonding with supporters after officially being announced as an AFC Wimbledon player just yesterday.
Versatile Jon Meades was the first of manager Neal Ardley’s six summer signings and he also felt the day at the Cherry Red Records Stadium was a positive experience.
and to know some of them and speak to them and they can watch us train, so it’s been a really good day.” “It was really good,” said Meades, who came back to the club from Oxford United. “It was a normal training session for us, but the fans were here watching us and it was nice to see them. We signed a few autographs and had a few photos taken with them and it was good to talk to them. It’s a fans owned club and the fans play a massive part, so it’s really good to interact with them
Understandably a lot of attention was on the most recent addition, after former Millwall and Portsmouth defender Paul Robinson committed himself to the Dons.
“It feels good and I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the season starting and it’s always that nice feeling of that time of the year when the football season comes around and it’s been a long summer and I’m ready to go,” said Robinson.
“It was great to score on Saturday (after just 82 seconds and playing as a trialist against Cheltenham), but as a defender you like clean sheets so I was a little bit disappointed (to concede a consolation at the end of the game), but I think that showed I was a little bit rusty still and I just need a few more games under my belt to get to the level I know I am capable of. The last twenty minutes were tough and I felt like I was running in quick sand, but I know I’m a slow starter and I know I’ll get better as the games keep coming,” he added about his fitness.
“I’ve known Neal from our time at Millwall together and I’ve kept an eye on his career and when the opportunity came up to work for him, it was one I found very difficult to turn down and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
“I think Neal has put an excellent squad together and you can tell that he has worked very hard to get the targets he wanted to get in and he’s put a very competitive squad together. It’s a tight league, it’s a tough league and firstly we have to make sure we are at it and turn up for every game and then we just need that little bit of quality to win us games and therefore get in the positon where you are looking up towards the top end of the table.”
Our photo shows three generations of centre-backs in assistant manager Neil Cox, new signing Paul Robinson and under-21s captain Will Nightingale all battling for the ball (Photo: Stuart Butcher/Pro Sports Images).
A five minute interview with Jon Meades is now available to Dons Player subscribers and an extensive interview with Paul Robinson will follow tomorrow.