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Neal puts faith in youth

11 September 2015

Manager interviewed ahead of Yeovil

Neal Ardley says he is prepared to give more first-team opportunities to rising young players at AFC Wimbledon after impressive performances from the club’s Under-21s.

Alan Reeves’ development squad have started the season with league wins against Cambridge United and AFC Bournemouth to offer further evidence that Wimbledon’s youngsters can be relied upon.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player ahead of the League 2 match at Yeovil Town, Neal Ardley said: “Your squad always gets tested and the Under-21s have played really well again in midweek. We always said that if they are in good form and showing the qualities we need then we would rather use them than go into the loan market. That is certainly the case at the moment and they will be involved in the squad.

“Alan is doing a great job with them. We had a remit when we set-up the Under-21s that we wanted a high intensity team that worked incredibly hard. We wanted to get the tempo of games at League 2 level. We have done that by working on a lot of qualities. Bournemouth just could not handle it. There was a compliment from somebody who said that it was great to watch a proper game of football. That was perhaps because of the intensity that we played at.

“The boys are learning. They train twice a week with the first-team so they know the tempo and expectations that we want. It is great that they have taken it in. I hope we don’t get injuries, but if those opportunities come then we need to be brave and put them in.”

The picture above shows (left-right) Academy Manager Jeremy Sauer, Academy Head of Coaching Mark Robinson, Dan Gallagher, Ryan Sweeney and Neal Ardley after the young pair signed their first professional deals last season.

  if you missed Neal’s update ahead of Yeovil on the official website yesterday.Team NewsClick on 

 The full interview ahead of Yeovil with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player, along with an interview with George Francomb.

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