Goalkeeper strives to make more progress
James Shea clinched the WDON Player of the Year award and earned a new contract in his debut season at AFC Wimbledon, but the 23-year-old says he will not be resting on his laurels.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell, Shea (pictured receiving his award from the WDON Radio team) was already looking ahead to the future as a Wimbledon goalkeeper after being presented with the award.
“It was just my first season at this level and I had to get my eye in,” said Shea. “Next season I want to kick-on again, get more games under my belt, and help the team upwards. I cannot wait to carry on next season. Since I first walked through the door here it has gone great for me. I was over the moon to extend my deal at the club and the manager was brilliant as he helped get it done quickly.
“It is great that I am here for the next few seasons. It is a great club and the fans are brilliant. You can really feel that family atmosphere around the club and it’s great to be a part of it. The aim for the team next season has to be to get into the play-offs or even go for automatic promotion. From a personal perspective, I must thank the manager and his backroom staff for helping me when I needed them to.”
In particular, Goalkeeping Coach Ashley Bayes helped Shea come through a tough time when his season was curtailed by a broken ankle.
“What you see is what you get with ‘Bayzo’ and he has been absolutely brilliant with me,” added Shea. “He has worked hard with me every single day and he is someone you can talk to about things on and off the pitch, not just about football. I owe a lot to ‘Bayzo’ and it has been great to work with him.
“When Ross Worner came into the team he did brilliantly and Joe McDonnell also performed really well when he got his chance. Next season he will be looking to push on. Will Mannion has also come on in leaps and bounds since the start of the season.”