Experienced defender keen to help young players
Barry Fuller believes that the emergence of a crop of young players offers plenty of hope for future seasons and he will be doing everything possible to help them succeed.
to Ireland’s Under-18 squad. With several other home-grown talents having made their debuts last season, the 30-year-old right-back believes the future is bright.call-upFuller was quick to send his congratulations to Ryan Sweeney after the academy product’s first-team performances for the Dons culminated in a
“They have been brilliant and a massive part of that is down to the academy here,” said Fuller. “It is a credit to the club that seven young players made their debuts last season. Their performances did the club proud and it augers well for the future. The manager may feel that more experienced players are needed, but if they are ready he will put them straight in. Ryan showed what he could do at the end of last season and that’s why he got called up for Ireland Under-18s.
“We need to have a winning mentality next season and I will do my best to rally the players. There will be certain times when we have to win ugly and we did not do that enough last season.”
In the above photograph Barry Fuller watches on as Ryan Sweeney battles for possession against Oxford United.
Fuller, who captained Gillingham to promotion from League 2 last season, reckons the Dons must acquire the tenacity to grind out victories if he is to repeat such success here.
“People said there were better footballing teams around when Stevenage and Dagenham got promoted from League 2, but players in those teams all knew their jobs,” added Fuller. “They had that know-how to grind out victories on a regular basis.
“Though it ended a bit flat for us last season, it was not a disappointing campaign. We were well clear of the relegation places, but we did not pick up as many points as we should have done in the last seven or eight games. We created plenty of chances, but we were not ruthless enough and we have to do better next season.”
Fuller is currently keeping himself very busy during the close season at his coaching academy, which is based at Ashford in Kent. The Fuller Weston Football Academy is run in partnership with Barnet midfielder Curtis Weston and that will raise the intriguing possibility of Wimbledon’s captain coming against his close friend next season.