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Club News

Big cup tie for young Dons

25 November 2015

Manager wants fans to continue great support

Mark Robinson has virtually a full strength squad for tomorrow night’s FA Youth Cup tie – and he says they will all need to be on top form against an Ebbsfleet United side that have already caused an upset in the competition.

AFC Wimbledon Under-18s host Ebbsfleet (7.00 pm kick-off at the Cherry Red Records Stadium) tomorrow for a place in the third round of the competition.

  to view it.Youth FocusInterviews with Mark Robinson, along with Paul Kalambayi and Jason Stripp are now on Dons Player as part of an in-depth focus on the FA Youth Cup. A shortened version of Rob Cornell’s interview with Paul and Jason is now on our official You Tube channel. Click on 

Based on status, it may appear that the Dons are favourites, but Ebbsfleet United knocked out Gillingham in the last round with an enthusiasm towards the competition that Mark Robinson was hugely impressed by.

Having had good backing from Wimbledon fans in the last round of the competition when his side beat Woking 4-0, Mark is hoping for similar support this time around to help them through.

“I had loads of fans stopping me and saying how much they enjoyed watching us after the last round,” said Mark. “They were telling me how good they thought the football was – and I was shocked actually. I thought we did okay on the night, but it was pleasing to hear. You can get a bit wrapped up in the game, but the fans seemed really enthusiastic about watching us.

“We are a club that has a reputation for producing players in the past and you can see that they want that to happen here. When players like Will Nightingale made their debuts you could hear our fans willing them on. The fans want them to do well and that’s fantastic.

“Ebbsfleet seem like a club on a bit of a mission in this competition. I went to watch their game against Gillingham in the last round and I was impressed with them. They had first-team players watching who seemed to know all the names of the young lads and their fans outnumbered Gills supporters by three to one. There was a feel good factor about them and a real enthusiasm and we have to match that.”

Mark will have all of the players who helped the young Dons to victory against Woking available for selection, plus striker Jayden Antwi, who missed that 4-0 win.

“We have had a lot of injuries lately with five or six players out that played against Woking, but most of those were back for Saturday (1-0 win v Southend,” added Mark. “Preparations have been a lot better for this game and we had almost a full quota in training on Tuesday with only Dom Bongo and Judah Chapman out. The lads all want to do well in this competition and they will get a little bit anxious so it’s all about calming them down and getting them to show what they’re capable of.”

Entry prices are £5 for adults and £2 for children at tomorrow night’s match.

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