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Plan has Tom in top shape

18 September 2015

Striker in upbeat mood ahead of Notts County

Tom Elliott believes that a meticulous fitness programme has put him in shape to produce the best football of his career.

Speaking to Dons Player ahead of tomorrow’s match against Notts County, Elliott was full of praise for the coaching and fitness methods deployed by Neal Ardley and his staff since he joined AFC Wimbledon in the summer.

Elliott started his career with Leeds United, but AFC Wimbledon is already his eighth club (including loan spells) at the age of 24. His best season so far came in 2012/13 when he struck 17 goals in 34 games in the Conference for Cambridge United, but his progress since has been interrupted by injuries.

“I have started all the league games so far and the only match I came off in with an injury was against Carlisle,” said Elliott. “The manager recognised that and he tweaked my training regime. Every player is different in terms of what they need. On Tuesday, the strikers did a speed, endurance session to get our fitness and sharpness up. I feel so much better for doing that.

“The manager takes every little detail into consideration to bring the best out of us on the pitch. He is trying to improve us as players and the staff get into us because they want to make us better. I remember when I first signed the manager said that Bayo had played over 40 games for the first time in his career. I wanted to be a part of that because I have had my injury struggles. The manager recognised it and that is what I needed.

“I feel happy here and it has been a good start for me. The manager pays a lot of attention to the technical side of things. Jason Moriarty (Sports Scientist) and Stuart Douglas (physio) give the players everything they need. For a League 2 club, it is incredible. In pre-season, we had GPS systems taking our movements and heart rate monitors recording our levels. We cannot ask for anymore.

“I have worked under managers that have been old-fashioned and just get you running a lot, but the manager here has a more modern approach. It is about rest, recovery and doing the right things. I think we have got it spot-on with the balance between time on the training pitch and recovery. If you ask all the players they will say they are feeling great and we are looking fit for the games.”

Elliott, who has scored two goals so far for Wimbledon, reckons there is much more to come from him after settling in quickly since making the switch from Cambridge United.

“There are no regrets (about leaving Cambridge) and everyone has welcomed me since I joined,” he added. “I know we can do a lot better as a team, but I have had a great time since I came here. Cambridge have had a real good go and they are spending a lot of money, but I know what the manager here wants to do.

“I bought into what he was saying when I signed and I knew that we would have a good chance. We did not have to go out and buy so many players. Everyone is going to have their own strategies, but I really liked Wimbledon’s.

“I was saying to one of the boys the other day that I have been amazed by the team spirit here. It is probably the best team spirit that I have experienced and I have been at eight clubs. All the boys get on really well and that has helped me settle in.

    man by cheering us on and hopefully we can get three points for them on Saturday.” th“I prefer to play in home games in front of a lot more of our own supporters. I like the pitch and the stadium. The fans can be our 12

The full seven-minute interview with Tom appeared this morning on Dons Player and Neal Ardley’s update ahead of Notts County is also on our premium channel.

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