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Neal moves for pacy winger

1 July 2015

New signing delighted to join the Dons

Neal Ardley has today bolstered his attacking options by bringing in winger Andy Barcham from Portsmouth as AFC Wimbledon’s second summer signing.

The 28-year-old is described by Neal Ardley as a player who can operate on either flank or up front and it was a case of persistence paying off for the Wimbledon manager as he almost signed Andy two years ago.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Andy is a player who I really liked in his Scunthorpe days and two years ago I tried desperately to sign him, but he was already close to putting pen to paper with Portsmouth. I have monitored him since then and he had a stop-start time there as he did not get a good enough run of games. That is not for me to worry about though.

“Andy can play on either wing or up front. He is exceptionally quick and is very good at taking players on. He will be given that licence by me. I am delighted because I have been chipping away at this one for a while. The first thing I am going to do is put my arm around his shoulder and make him feel good about himself again. I want to get him back to the sparkling form he was in at Scunthorpe.

“Andy played for Portsmouth in the 4-0 game here two seasons ago, but he was probably their shining light. He gave Barry Fuller a tough time and Barry knows him well from Gillingham days. Barry has always spoken highly of him and says he is one of the best wingers he has played with.

“When you have liked a player for a couple of years you do not go in thinking ‘I hope it works out’. Instead you go in thinking ‘this will work out’. He will certainly fit into several dynamics of ways that we want to play.”

Andy, who was born in Basildon, started his career at Tottenham Hotspur’s academy, before earning a professional contract with Spurs and making one appearance in the League Cup. His Football League debut came while on loan at Leyton Orient and he has since had spells with Gillingham, Scunthorpe United, before joining Pompey in the summer of 2013.

 A full interview with Andy Barcham will feature on Dons Player later this afternoon, along with full reaction from Neal Ardley.

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