Goalkeeper rewarded for consistent displays
We are delighted to announce that goalkeeper James Shea has committed his future to AFC Wimbledon by signing an extended contract.
The 23-year-old has been an ever-present this season with 34 appearances made in all competitions since making the step-up from Ryman Premier League football with Harrow Borough.
Shea’s consistent performances between the sticks for Wimbledon convinced Neal Ardley to make him a part of his long-term plans to move the club forward.
“It was never a gamble when we signed James,” said Neal. “We did our homework by monitoring James for about a year before we signed him. However, he has shown great application to be at the level he is at now and that’s ahead of where we hoped he would be.
“We are delighted to tie James up for a longer term. Good goalkeepers are at a premium these days and they’re tough to find. We believe we’ve got a very good goalkeeper.”
Former Dons manager Dave Anderson signed James Shea when he was in charge of Harrow Borough and he recommended the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper to Wimbledon. Current Dons goalkeeper coach Ashley Bayes was also influential in bringing Shea to the club and Neal Ardley paid tribute to his contribution.
“I put ‘Bayzo’ under pressure to give me a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as regards signing James,” Neal added. “I was obviously part of it, but ‘Bayzo’ played a massive role. And since James joined he has worked extremely hard with him in the same way that he does with all the goalkeepers here.”