Exclusive interview with Ashes hopeful
England cricket international Mark Wood enjoyed a welcome distraction from his rise to the top of his sport when he watched his beloved AFC Wimbledon give Liverpool a scare in the FA Cup.
The 25-year-old seam bowler was busy catching the eye of test selectors while on an England Lions tour of South Africa in January, but he made time to watch the Dons almost cause an upset.
Speaking during an exclusive interview for the official website, Ashes hopeful Mark spoke of his admiration for AFC Wimbledon’s rise since its rebirth 13 years ago.
“If you look back at what has been achieved since the club reformed it is brilliant what the fans have done,” said Mark. “From what I have read everyone seems to have jumped on the bandwagon because of the way the club is run. It means so much to the fans.
in League 2. When I was away with England in South Africa I watched the Liverpool cup game. Even watching it on the television you could sense that it was a special atmosphere.th“I follow AFC Wimbledon on Twitter and I try to keep up to date with what is going on with the current squad. I know that we finished 15
“The crowd seemed to be absolutely buzzing. We played very well with Bayo Akinfenwa and Sean Rigg causing Liverpool loads of problems. We battered them at times and we were unlucky not to get something from the game.”
Mark, who was raised in Ashington, Northumberland, admits that his allegiance to the Dons has resulted in one or two strange looks from friends and family.
“All my family are Newcastle fans and I have friends who are Sunderland supporters,” added Mark. “My support for Wimbledon all started when I was about four. I had a sticker book and my favourite colour was blue. I wanted to support one of the teams that wore blue and I chose Wimbledon over other teams including Chelsea, Everton and Ipswich. A Wimbledon player (Hans Segers) also looked like my father. I was hooked after that.
“My Dad used to take me to Wimbledon games when I was younger. I watched Wimbledon in away games at Sunderland, Newcastle and Rotherham. I also came down to Selhurst Park and I can remember watching us lose 6-2 at home to Spurs when Jurgen Klinsmann scored four. That was not the best, but I enjoyed coming down and you could always get tickets. My favourite player when I was growing up was Neal Ardley.”
The weather is currently curtailing Mark’s aim to build on his excellent test debut with rain having delayed the match at Headingley against New Zealand today. All at AFC Wimbledon wish Mark every success in the second test and in his pursuit of a place in the England squad for the Ashes later this summer.
The second part of our interview with Mark Wood will feature in the coming days.