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A return to Basingstoke

14 May 2015

Pre-season fixture will mean a lot to Dons goalie

We are pleased to confirm another pre-season friendly with AFC Wimbledon visiting Basingstoke Town for the first time since 2010 on Tuesday, 14 July (7.45 pm).

It will mean a return to The Camrose for goalkeeper Joe McDonnell (pictured), who signed from Basingstoke last summer and has since gone on to make four League 2 appearances for the Dons.

AFC Wimbledon last visited the venue on 23 October, 2010, when a goal from Ed Harris earned a 1-0 FA Cup win for Terry Brown’s men.

Basingstoke Town came tantalisingly close to promotion from Conference South last season as manager Jason Bristow led them into the play-offs, but they were beaten in the semi-final by Whitehawk.

McDonnell came through Basingstoke Town’s youth system and progressed into the first-team at the Hampshire club, where our goalkeeper coach Ashley Bayes also spent two years. However, speaking after his full first-team debut for Wimbledon, McDonnell recalled starting out as a striker with Basingstoke!

“I was a striker all the way through when I was younger and I scored a few goals for the Basingstoke academy,” McDonnell said. “My first game for the first team was also up front. I had become a goalkeeper by that stage, but players were not available so I had to play out on the pitch. I was absolutely knackered afterwards because I’d not played outfield for a while! “I decided to give goalkeeping a go and it has paid off. ‘Bayzo’ (Ashley Bayes) got me training with him every day at Aldershot and that was when I realised I should stick at it.”

As we previously announced, the Dons will host Millwall on Saturday, 18 July (3.00 pm kick-off) and more pre-season fixtures will be announced in due course.

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