Defender takes return in his stride
Ryan Sweeney put a “frustrating” time behind him by completing 90 minutes yesterday – and he hopes to stake a first-team claim in the coming weeks.
The 18-year-old centre-back (pictured above) had missed the start of 2015/16 due to a broken nose and that scuppered any opportunity to build on his breakthrough campaign last season when he made three first-team appearances.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player after yesterday’s win for the Under-21s at AFC Bournemouth, Sweeney said: “I don’t often get injured and I am usually fit for the whole season. It was really frustrating to be out for four or five weeks. I could have played football, but if I had got a knock to my nose it could have sidelined me for another four weeks.
“It was brilliant to get back out there and get 90 minutes under my belt. It was great to beat a team from a Premier League club. The lads were brilliant two weeks ago at Cambridge and Alan Reeves said that had set the standard for the rest of this season. I think we matched those levels.
“I think I am ready if the manager wants to call me up to be in the squad. Will Nightingale has been outstanding whenever he has been called up. I want to be in and around that bracket this season, but I still have a lot of my game to improve upon.”
Sweeney has come through the ranks with several of the squad that won at Bournemouth yesterday – and he says there is a great team spirit among the group.
“It was excellent for Egli Kaja that he was involved in the first-team squad on Saturday (at Mansfield),” Sweeney added. “Egli has added a lot to his game this season and he has looked really sharp in training. He is strong and powerful. The spirit is great in the squad because a few of us have known each other for a long time.
“It was a great goal by Callum Wilson and he will be happy that I have given him a mention! I have seen him do that a couple of times before. In the modern game full-backs get forward more to create and score goals and it is another thing that Callum has added to his game.”
The full interview with Ryan Sweeney featured on Dons Player this morning, along with the thoughts of Alan Reeves on a great start to the season for the Under-21s.