Young striker to return in tonight's development game
George Oakley will make a competitive return to action in tonight’s Final Third Development League match against Portsmouth (7.00 pm kick-off at Merstham).
The 19-year-old striker (pictured), who has made six first-team appearances as a substitute this season, was back in full training last week after recuperating from a cartilage tear in his hip.
, Alan Reeves said that Oakley will play for around 70 minutes tonight and Ross Worner, Tom Beere and Ben Harrison will also offer first-team experience.Dons PlayerSpeaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for
With several academy products having stepped up to the first-team and others signing professional contracts, Alan Reeves has been very encouraged by the season so far. A clear pathway is being established at the club for players coming through and Alan is determined to do his bit to build on that.
“Ryan Sweeney and Dan Gallagher had been doing well for the Under-18s and they carried on performing when they stepped up to my squad,” said Alan. “They have continued to improve on a daily basis in training and in games. That’s the pathway forward for this club. If young players do well for the Under-18s they can move up to the Under-21s and get professional contracts. Then we can try and get them into the first-team as quickly as possible.
“It has helped this season having quite a settled side. There’s not been too much chopping and changing as the manager does not throw too many players at me, unless players coming back from injury need minutes. The players have their own little group and a bit of banter and I encourage that.
“The players were disappointed last week to go out on penalties (London Senior Cup tie). Fair play to Corinthian Casuals because they had a game plan. They sat on the edge of their box and defended and we were not quite good enough to break them down. We hit the post three times in the first half, but ultimately it was just not our night.”
Entrance for everyone at tonight’s game will be £5.
Alan Reeves talks extensively about the players coming through the ranks at Wimbledon during an interview on Dons Player and promising winger David Fitzpatrick tells us that he's regained his spark at his local club. An interview with Jack Smith abut his first-team return is our Dons Player interview today.