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Ryan: it all starts now

18 May 2015

Academy product targets further progress

Ryan Sweeney ended 2014/15 in AFC Wimbledon’s first-team, but the young defender is determined to keep on improving as he expects competition for places to be fierce next season.

  earlier today, the Dons academy product (pictured left above on his full Wimbledon debut versus Oxford) has been called up by Ireland U-18s after a rise that earned high praise from manager Neal Ardley.announcedAs we  

But Ryan is under no illusions that his career will only maintain an upward curve if he continues to work tirelessly at his game.

“Next season is going to be a tough one,” said Ryan. “The manager wants to assemble a squad that will push for promotion and he is likely to get higher quality players in. I will need to work harder to get more opportunities. It all starts now for me during the close season. I am a big lad and I will need to keep myself ticking over. I want to come back and make an impression during pre-season.

“Alan Reeves has helped me a lot. We had a chat earlier in the season and he told me that I needed to work on my aggression and heading if I wanted to become a League 2 centre-back. I think those parts of my game have come on an awful lot. I must thank Alan, the manager, Neil Cox, and academy staff for helping my career.”

Ryan qualifies to play for Ireland due to his Irish grandparents and he is exciting by the prospect of playing international football.

“It would be a massive achievement for me if I get to play next month,” added Ryan. “It would round off a season that I will never forget. Both my grandparents on my father’s side are Irish and I thought I would go down this route. A lot of my family are Irish and my Dad was over the moon for me.

 “My mother (Sharon) and father (Tom) have always supported me and taken me everywhere to play football. My parents were there to watch my debut for Wimbledon and being called up for Ireland caps a great season for me.” 

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