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Advice led Smith to sign

22 January 2016

Midfielder on joining Wimbledon

Connor Smith said that the lure of playing for Neal Ardley and Wimbledon’s rich history influenced his decision to join the Dons.

The 22-year-old central midfielder – signed earlier today from Watford – spoke enthusiastically about AFC Wimbledon and the current manager in his first interview for Dons Player.

“I had heard good things about the manager,” Connor told WDON’s Rob Cornell. “I know Bayo Akinfenwa from my time on loan at Gillingham and a couple of other lads who have played for the manager. They spoke highly about the way he gets his teams playing football and about his methods. I know a lot about the history of the club with Vinnie Jones and other former players. AFC Wimbledon is a fans club and it’s an opportunity to blend with the supporters and get to know them.”

During the extensive six-minute interview, Irishman Connor also talked about what type of player he is and his best moments since Sky TV programme Football’s Next Star helped launch his career six years ago.

“I get about the pitch quite well, I look to try and get on the ball and play,” added Connor. “I want to try and get forward too and chip in with a few goals. I want to go out and try and help the team to victories so that we can get into the play-offs. Hopefully, I can express myself in the team.

“Watford was my first club after I came over from Ireland and it has been the only club I’ve played for permanently. I have got good memories of playing for the youth team at Watford, before Sean Dyche gave me my first professional contract. That was the year the new owners came in and Gianfranco Zola was appointed. A few months later I got another new deal and in my first season we got into the Championship play-offs.

“I played quite a few games before an injury set me back. Zola always spoke highly of me and he was a great manager and a great man. I have some fond memories of Watford and the best moment was probably my debut when I came on and we won 3-2 at Crystal Palace.”

Full interviews with Connor Smith and Neal Ardley are now on Dons Player.

 .You can also sponsor his home or away socks by using the above contact details. you want to sponsor Connor's home, away or third kits, please contact Pietro on 020 8547 3336 or e-mail 

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