How Manchester glory was achieved
Terry Brown said that AFC Wimbledon’s class of 2011 were convinced that they were going to do “something special” during the season that ended in glory at Manchester.
Terry, who earned yet another promotion with Margate on Sunday, is very proud to be the man who led Wimbledon back into the Football League and he told the official website that it all came together on 21 May, 2011.
“We had built up to that day over the years and had worked hard to get our style of play right,” Terry said. “We wanted to get the balance right between playing a good style of football and not giving away silly goals. It took us time to do that because we liked to play out from the back. A key game for me that season was Cambridge United away when we won 2-1. I felt that we were the best footballing side in the division and we never lost a game after that.
“To be able to beat Fleetwood 8-1 on aggregate showed that we were a very good side. You had to be some side to do that. There was a belief in the camp that we were going to do something special. We had finished in second position in front of Luton and we had that momentum going into the match. We had such self-belief and I knew we would beat Luton. We kept saying to ourselves that we play the best football and it will be on a beautiful pitch.
“We had a nice hotel to stay in and we trained on the pitch the day before. We made a great impression on the ground staff at Manchester and it all had a good feeling about it. AFC Wimbledon is a very special club with great supporters and no one can take that achievement away from us.”
Stuart Cash said that the victory against Luton Town was the culmination of years of hard work – and it showed how far the club had come after his first day as assistant manager.
“Getting our first promotion from the Ryman League was just as important in a way as what happened at Manchester. We needed that first promotion to get us moving. I can remember our first day in the job with Erik and Ivor taking us down to the training ground. It was at Tolworth with about three or four portable floodlights.
“It was not the best and when we got back to the club we said that it needed to change. Erik managed to do a deal quickly for us to train at New Malden and we trained there for pre-season. Looking back at things like that it shows how far the club has progressed.
“Winning the play-offs at Manchester was a massive part of the club’s history – and it does not seem like four years ago. People still talk about it because it was such a great achievement for a club that had to start again nine years earlier.
“It was a credit to the players and coaching staff, but also the board and the fans that started the club. AFC Wimbledon is special because so many former players and coaches go back and stay in contact with the club. Not many clubs have that and hopefully that will continue if the club gets back to Plough Lane.”
Selected key moments from four years ago at Manchester are featured in our gallery above. We have received great feedback to our request for your best pictures and these will feature on the official website later on.