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Raring to go for U-21s

24 July 2015

George Pilbeam interviewed ahead of Merstham

George Pilbeam says he is determined to prove that he can have a future at AFC Wimbledon after a mixed time since signing for the Dons.

The 19-year-old right-back completed his first 90 minutes for six months on Tuesday for the Under-21s after his first season with Wimbledon was interrupted by a troublesome groin injury.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s match for the Under-21s at Merstham (3.00 pm kick-off) during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, George said he is hoping that 2015/16 will be a different story for him.

“Though I was personally disappointed not to go to La Manga, I need to get minutes,” said the former Brentford academy right-back. “By the end of this week I will have completed two 90 minute matches. That will be of good benefit to me. Last year was not great for me, even though I got a new deal. It was a frustrating season, but since pre-season started I have played in first-team games and I got my first 90 minutes on Tuesday for the Under-21s.

“I believe I have got the ability, but it is about me being consistent and getting the first-team manager to trust me. I have played a lot of academy football and that is more about performance. At first-team level it is more about results and the manager has to trust you enough to put you in.”

Alan Reeves said: “The reason George got another year was because he had a lot of injuries last season and we could see that he has a lot of potential as a full-back. It is a massive season for him. It is for all the Under-21s, but especially for George Pilbeam and George Oakley. They both had a lot of injuries last season and if they can stay fit hopefully they can both push for the first-team.”

Alan Reeves will include four trialists in tomorrow’s squad against Merstham’s first-team. Young professionals including Ben Harrison and George Oakley will both feature, along with a crop of Under-18s.

   Entrance fee at Merstham is £5 for adults with children under-16 allowed in free of charge. 

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