Tom and Karleigh join Dons
AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley today completed a double transfer swoop, bolstering his back line and strengthening his attacking options.
Centre-back Karleigh Osborne (pictured right of Neal) arrives on a season-long loan from Bristol City while forward Tom Elliott (left) has joined the Dons, having previously been at Cambridge United.
A delighted Neal explained in an interview to new-look Dons PlayerHD: “We’ve signed Karleigh on a season-long loan, with no breaks, he’s ours for the season until May 31. I’d like to thank Bristol City and Steve Cotterill in particular who have been great through the whole process. We’ve got a player who has played a lot of League One games, played Championship, he’s strong, athletic and powerful and he ticks the criteria that we tried to set at the start of the summer and we’ve been patient to land.”
“Tom is a striker,” added Neal. “I met with him probably over a month ago now and sold the deal to him. He went away and there was a lot of interest from other clubs, to the point where he had an offer from a League One club and I thought we’d lose him, but we’ve managed to seal the deal.”
“He’s been played as a target man and he’s better at playing with a target man in my opinion. He’s got pace, he’s got power and already in training I’ve seen his ability to get in behind people and frighten the life out of them, so with him and Bayo (Akinfenwa) we’ll certainly have that ability to attack crosses, we’ll have the pace and the power to run in behind. He’s 24 and at a great age for a striker and his record is steadily improving as he has got older. We believe we can improve that even more like we did with Michael Smith, when he was here.”
“With Bayo up there as well, I certainly wouldn’t want to mark the pair of them!” said Neal.
Elliott, at 6ft 4in, started his career at Leeds United and represented England at under18 level, but it was at Cambridge United he truly established himself - helping them gain promotion back to the Football League via the Conference Play-offs. He was also a part of the Cambridge side that had a memorable FA Cup run last season, including games against Manchester United.
Osborne adds height to the defensive positions, at 6ft 2in, and enjoyed success at Brentford by gaining promotion from League Two in 2009. He also had a spell at Millwall, before joining Bristol City.
An interview with Neal Ardley will follow shortly on Dons Player HD, where there will also be interviews with our new signings Karleigh Osborne and Tom Elliott.