Winger revitalised by Wimbledon move
Winger David Fitzpatrick believes that joining his local club is bringing the best out of him – and he’s determined to grasp his second chance to make it as a professional footballer.
The 20-year-old, who attended the same Richard Challoner School in New Malden as Will Nightingale, arrived at AFC Wimbledon in September after three years with QPR.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Fitzpatrick is fully aware of what he needs to do in pursuit of more first-team opportunities after making his debut against Exeter City in December.
“Everyone here has been really nice to me and I’ve been able to get my head down and enjoy my football,” Fitzpatrick said. “The manager has told me what I need to do. I need to work on the defensive side of my game. I was used to playing in a 4-3-3 at QPR and you don’t need to track back as much, but here we play 4-4-2. I therefore need to track my man back a bit more. If I can switch that side of it on, then hopefully I will get more chances. The main thing I’ve noticed is that I have to adjust physically to be able to play League 2 football.
“When you are on the bench you are always ready, but it was earlier than I expected when I got on against Exeter. For a debut you expect to get maybe five minutes at the end, but I was brought on with 20 minutes left. I was buzzing with that and it was a great experience. It’s very much a fans club here and you find that out. It’s nice to get recognition from the fans.”
Fitzpatrick, who is pictured in action versus Brighton (photograph by Pro Sports Images), will be involved tonight when the development squad host Portsmouth at Merstham (7.00 pm kick-off). The winger is aiming to be a thorn in Pompey’s side once again after he struck the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against tonight’s opponents last month.
“It was a tough game and we were 1-0 down until the last minute,” added Fitzpatrick. “Egli Kaja went down in the area and I stepped up and took the penalty. Luckily, it went in otherwise I would have got a bit of stick! It was a good point and hopefully we can build on the momentum of recent results and get three points tonight.”
Entrance for everyone at tonight’s game will be £5.
We focus on youth and experience in our interviews on Dons Player. Coach Alan Reeves talks enthusiastically about the development set-up and Jack Smith tells us that he faces a battle to win back his first-team place. The full interview with David Fitzpatrick is also on Dons Player.