Goalkeeper can't wait to face Hartlepool
Ben Wilson says the prospect of a home debut will have added significance as he comes up against a Hartlepool United side featuring old friends including Pools goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
Wilson, who was raised in County Durham, came through the academy ranks at Sunderland when Carson was number one with the Black Cats.
A suspension to Scott Harrison will deprive Wilson of a chance to come up against another of his former team-mates, but Wilson can’t wait to run out at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Wilson also spoke enthusiastically about an eventful first two weeks with the Dons since joining on loan from Cardiff City.
“I know a few of the Hartlepool lads so it will be nice to come up against them,” said Wilson. “It’s always good to play against friends and northern clubs, just to prove a point. It will be great with the way things are going for us and hopefully we will get the three points again. After 10 minutes at Accrington I was thinking ‘what have I come into here?’ It was a crazy game to be a part of, but the enjoyment was unbelievable to win. We have won six points in two games since I came here so you would take that straight away.
“It was a bit rushed when I joined. I was ready to travel with Cardiff U-21s on the Sunday and I was just about to get on the bus when I got a call saying ‘you are going to Wimbledon’. Though it was a hectic start, it has turned out very well.”
Wilson added that he knew all about AFC Wimbledon after seeking advice from former Dons loanee Deji Oshilaja and his goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson is a friend of Neal Ardley and Neil Cox. A typical welcome from bubbly Wimbledon coach Ashley Bayes has also helped him settle in.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper joked: “I got warned about ‘Bayzo’ straight away! He is such a lively character. The first day I met him I thought everyone is right because I have never met someone so happy in my life. Then again, that rubs off on people. If you are getting beat, he is going to be there picking the spirits up. ‘Bazyo’ has been a class act and I have enjoyed every minute of working with him.
“We have experienced defenders here and as goalkeeper you need to communicate with them well. I have settled in straight away. ‘Bayzo’ is inspiring everything right from the start of coaching sessions and I have become pally with ‘Macca’ (Joe McDonnell). Even though we are competing for the number one jersey, we get on well. It is a good training group here, including the outfield players.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to come and play games here. I spoke to a few lads who had played for the manager here, including Deji Oshilaja. He spoke very highly of the manager. I knew what I was coming into and I was really looking forward to working with him.”
The full interview with Ben Wilson is on Dons Player, along with an in-depth update from Neal Ardley ahead of Hartlepool.