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Jack ready for cup return

10 February 2015

Team news for tonight's London Senior Cup tie

Jack Smith and Ross Worner will add experience to a young AFC Wimbledon squad for tonight’s London Senior Cup tie at Corinthian Casuals (7.45 pm).

Of course, holders Wimbledon start the defence of a competition they won in style last season at Metropolitan Police.

But for those supporters not travelling to tonight’s first-team game at Burton it offers an opportunity to watch young Dons aiming to be a part of the club’s future at a time when a crop of academy products have shown the way to first-team level.

Experienced full-back Jack Smith (pictured) is ready to get game-time under his belt for the first time since suffering a thigh injury in the Cambridge game in November and Worner will be between the sticks after returning from his loan spell at Woking.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, coach Alan Reeves said that developing players in his squad have a great opportunity to really show that they can be a part of the club’s future.

“Players in my squad are all at different levels of progress in terms of development,” said Alan. “There are lads in and around the Under-21s who still have to prove themselves a bit more to get professional contracts. But they should not be disheartened. We’ve had chats with the players and told them that they should look at it as a positive that other lads have been given pro contracts. They can see that we will give them a contract if they are good enough.

“It will be a different test for the players. Recently we have been playing against teams like Brighton who have played out from the back, but I expect this to be more hustle and bustle against a team of men. We are trying to teach young players good habits and that doesn’t change just because we are playing against a non league side.”

Striker Dan Agyei has struck over 30 goals at U-18 level this season and Alan has been particularly pleased with the way he has stepped up to playing at a higher level.

Alan added: “Dan has scored consistently well all season for the Under-18s, but the question is ‘can he do it at the next level?’ So far in the three or four games Dan has shown he can. It’s a different way of playing when you move up from Under-18s to Under-21s. At academy level it’s more possession-based, but I’m trying to turn the Under-21s into more of a League 2 team because the next transition is first-team football.

“Dan has done ever so well so far after stepping up. He is learning and listening and he is a keen boy. But he has that knack of being in the right place at the right time and scoring goals, which is something you cannot teach.”

Corinthian Casuals are currently 17th in Ryman League South.

It's been back to reality recently for Casuals after the club enjoyed a memorable trip to Brazil with their first-team playing in front of 26,000 in Sao Paulo at the home of Brazilian giants Corinthian Paulista. The match was to commemorate a previous tour in 1910 that inspired the formation of the club in Brazil.

Back on home soil, Casuals won 1-0 against Faversham Town on Saturday.

Admission prices for the second round tie are as follows: Adults £8, Concessions £4.

  The full address for Tuesday's venue is as follows: King George's Field, Queen Mary Close, Tolworth, KT6 7NA.

  .Young DonsTo view reports from all of the development squad’s games this season, click on 

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