Goalkeeper on signing a new contract
James Shea says he aims to repay AFC Wimbledon for resurrecting his career by helping the Dons to promotion in the future.
We announced yesterday that Shea had signed an extended contract to prolong his stay with Wimbledon after making 34 appearances in all competitions since stepping up from Harrow Borough.
Speaking exclusively to the official website, Shea said that he couldn’t wait to sign for a club he believes is moving in the right direction with Neal Ardley at the helm.
“I’m over the moon about it,” said Shea. “The manager spoke to me a couple of weeks ago about this and it’s all been sorted really quickly. After meeting with the manager I wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. Wimbledon signed me in the summer and gave me a chance – that’s all I wanted.
"I’d like to thank the manager, Neil Cox, Simon Bassey and ‘Bayzo’ (Ashley Bayes) for helping me since I joined. ‘Bayzo’ has been quality, even going back to the days when I trained with the club before I signed. He is making me a better goalkeeper.
“I’m not thinking too far ahead and I just want to concentrate on helping Wimbledon to move forward. Hopefully, we can get promotion. If that doesn’t happen this season then hopefully it will next season. We’ve dropped silly points this season, most recently at home to Carlisle, and we should have won that game. There’s been a bit of a change around recently after losing Matt Tubbs and Adam Barrett, but I believe we will get better once we have a settled side.”
Shea certainly doesn’t take being a professional footballer for granted – he was without a club for months after being released by Arsenal – and the 23-year-old goalkeeper says he loves playing in front of a packed stadium at AFC Wimbledon every other week.
“I still speak to Tony Roberts (goalkeeper coach at Arsenal) and Dennis Rockall (Kit Manager for Arsenal’s academy and reserve teams) and they know how it was when I didn’t have a club last year,” added Shea. “They’re delighted for me.
“When I first started here I knew that Ross Worner was well liked and I had to get the fans on my side. Hopefully, it will stay that way! The fans here have a bit of banter with me and I’ve enjoyed playing in front of them. The club has been brilliant with me.”