Academy product steps-up with confidence
Ryan Sweeney said that learning off experienced head Paul Robinson made his first-team call-up a lot easier on Saturday – and he’s determined to take his chance at League 2 level.
The 18-year-old coped admirably after being plunged in for his first start of the season against Luton – his fourth first-team appearance in total – and with games coming up thick and fast he is ready for more opportunities.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Sweeney said: “It was unfortunate for Karleigh and I don’t know how bad his injury is, but he’s been a massive part of how we’ve been playing, especially recently. He’s been brilliant all season. I’ve been waiting for my chance and hopefully I can take it now to help the squad out.
“I’d been watching ‘Robbo’ and Karleigh all season. I know that ‘Robbo’ is vastly experienced and it made it a lot easier stepping out with someone like him. He talked to me on the pitch and he is a real warrior as well. I’ve been learning off him all season so that it would help me when I got my chance.
“With the games coming up thick and fast, we are going to need everyone, including the Under-21s. Hopefully, we can step up to the plate. You always want to keep a clean sheet, but the forwards helped us out and it was a great win in the end.”
Sweeney, who progressed through the Dons academy to the first-team, believes victory was a great way to bounce back after the defeat against Yeovil and that players stepping into the team on Saturday really proved their worth.
“We were all disappointed after the Yeovil game,” he added. “The manager did not feel we played as well as we could have and that was frustrating, but now we are back on track. We are flying at the moment and I don’t think teams will want to play us.
“Sean Rigg was probably disappointed that he did not start, but it just goes to show how much of a good squad we have now. ‘Riggy’ came off the bench, played very well, and scored a goal. Kelle has looked good since he came in, but it was probably a bit frustrating for him when the game was called off last week. I thought he was excellent when he was called upon and he looks to be a great addition to the squad.”