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Young Dons bow out with 5

29 April 2016

Update from our academy after very successful season

There was no let-up from our Under-18s after the end of their competitive season as they struck five goals in a friendly at Sutton United yesterday.

Goals from Jason Stripp, Toby Sibbick, Judah Chapman, Nathan Wood and Antonio Walker earned a 5-1 win at Gander Green Lane. Defender Dom Bongo was man of the match for Wimbledon.

Ricky Wellard, who helped AFC Wimbledon to promotion into the Football League in 2011, managed the Sutton team.

Under-18s manager Mark Robinson said: “Ricky contacted me to see if we would like a friendly with the games programmes finished for both of the clubs. It was a great opportunity to play on a lovely surface at a time of the year when pitches are in poor condition. It was a competitive game and although we did not maintain our standards well enough in both boxes and in some of our general play, the game served its purpose. It kept our first year Under-18s ticking over after our last league game.

“On a different subject, I was invited down to watch Chelsea beat Manchester City on Wednesday to win the FA Youth Cup again. Despite the disappointment at the time when we were knocked out by Chelsea, it was positive to read in the manager’s programme notes that their toughest challenge in the competition was against us. Joe Edwards texted afterwards to say that hadn’t changed after they beat Manchester City.”

AFC Wimbledon Academy wishes to thank second-year Under-18s leaving the club for their significant contributions over a number of years.

Their final season as scholars included helping AFC Wimbledon to its best-ever achievement in the FA Youth Cup, including beating Watford and Newcastle, to set-up that epic last-16 tie against Chelsea, which was watched by over 3,000 spectators.

We wish the following players every success in the future:

Jason Stripp

David Omperon

Reece Batchelor

Emmanuel Mensah

Daniel Ano

Dom Bongo

Academy Manager Jeremy Sauer said: “All six boys have made themselves a little part of Academy history this season. They and their team-mates have conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism both on and off the pitch all season and have set new standards for future Under-18s.

“We’ve been very proud to see them represent the club throughout their scholarship and I believe they have improved themselves not only as footballers but importantly as young men. The manner in which they’ve applied themselves will stand them in excellent stead for the future and we are, of course, working with the boys to help them make these next steps. The whole club and Academy wish them all the best in the future.”

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