Neal Ardley pays tribute to midfielder's efforts
Neal Ardley has praised Sammy Moore’s contribution in a Wimbledon shirt during the past five seasons after the midfielder left the club today.
Sammy starred in AFC Wimbledon’s promotion season in 2010/11, before earning the Player of the Year award a season later, and his consistent midfield performances have helped consolidate the Dons as a Football League club.
The 27-year-old made 183 appearances in all competitions for Wimbledon, scoring 19 goals, and Neal was quick to salute Sammy’s efforts after it was announced that he was leaving the club.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “Sammy has given such great service to the club during five years. He is one of the best holding midfielders in our league. We did not play very much to suit his style during the past season, which has limited his chances, particularly in the second half of the campaign.
“I think whoever gets Sammy will have a very good player. It has been an extremely difficult time for him and we have all felt that pain. Today was something that I was not looking forward to, but it ended up with us having a hug and being good friends. It is as much Sammy’s decision as it is ours. I think it will be the best thing for Sammy to have a fresh start and move forward with his career.”
He wished to thank Wimbledon supporters for their backing over the years, particularly the standing ovation he received in his final game against Cheltenham Town. Sammy spoke to the official website shortly after the news became public that he would be leaving.
“It has been an emotional day for me and I could barely talk when I went into see the manager,” Sammy said. “But it was a joint decision and Neal Ardley is a top-class manager. To get the standing ovation when I came on against Cheltenham brought a tear to my eye and the club will always be in my heart. It is a unique club as it is owned by the fans and players need to realise what it means to pull on the shirt.
“I must thank the supporters as they have always been there for me when I have needed a lift. In every game I have given 100 per cent and that’s the way I play. Hopefully, if the club gets back to Plough Lane I will be there for the first game.”
The picture above (taken by Stuart Butcher on behalf of Pro Sports Images) shows Sammy Moore receiving the captain's armband from Barry Fuller during the Cheltenham game.
A full interview with Sammy Moore about his five seasons at AFC Wimbledon will be on the official website tomorrow.