Glowing praise for midfielder after he puts pen to paper
Neal Ardley said that Tom Beere will be a big part of his plans to move AFC Wimbledon forward after the 20-year-old signed a new deal.
Academy product Beere has committed his future to the club after a breakthrough season that has included 13 first-team appearances for Wimbledon.
Speaking after Beere put pen to paper, Neal Ardley revealed that he has long viewed the midfielder as a player with rich potential – and this season he has started to realise that promise.
“I am a massive fan of Tom,” said Neal. “When I first came in Tom was one of the Under-18s who really stood out and Mark Robinson was bullish about him back then. The only thing we thought might stop him coming through was his physicality and we put him on a programme with Jason Moriarty. He has put on a lot of muscle mass since then and turned into someone who can handle the demands of League 2 football.
“Tom showed that when he came on against Portsmouth and he helped change the game. He understands the game. Tactically and technically he is very good. I think Tom has a big future in the game.
“The academy did a lot of great work before I arrived, but I have had to improve the first-team squad during the last two years. The squad has got better and we have been able to attract better players. This has made it harder for youngsters to break through.
“Alan Reeves has done a great job in getting our young players ready for League 2 football. As well as improving the first-team, part of my remit when I came in was to help produce our own players. This is starting to happen now. Hopefully, with the good work of our academy and the willingness of first-team staff to implement this aim, we can bring more young players through.”
Beere was part of the first-team squad as long ago as March, 2013, when he was an unused substitute at Accrington Stanley, but he had to wait for his debut until the JPT match at home to Southend United in September. He scored a spot-kick in that match as the Dons triumphed on penalties.
Beere joined the Dons as a 15-year-old after impressing Mark Robinson during trials. He had previously been at Fisher Athletic after Millwall decided not to sign him during a trial spell with the Championship club.