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Mark: glory run is real!

7 January 2016

Reaction after stunning win at Newcastle United

Mark Robinson saluted the “phenomenal” achievements of AFC Wimbledon’s talented crop with a stark reminder of how far the academy has progressed in recent years.

Following the stunning win at St James’ Park, our Academy Head of Coaching said that he had to remind his squad that it was not a dream and it had actually happened!

“I have said to the boys that it is real! They have to believe where they are now and a few of them have to believe in themselves more. We were under the cosh for certain parts of the game, but if you look at the clear-cut chances we created I think that we edged it.

“Around 80 per cent of the squad came from Sunday League football. Alfie Egan was picked up from Sunday League. It was only two years ago that our boys were paying £400 each in subscriptions to play for the club! But then we got academy status and that changed. We have not got boys that have been released by huge clubs or have been courted by big clubs. They are lads from grass roots football that we have brought through ourselves.

“For our boys to go out and produce a performance like that is phenomenal. It is a tribute to all our full-time academy staff, including Jeremy Sauer, Michael Hamilton and Rob Tuvey. The work that they have put in over many years has come to fruition.”

A full interview with Mark, Alfie Egan, Paul Kalambayi and Will Mannion is now on Dons Player with WDON commentator Rob Cornell posing the questions.

Mark Robinson also wished to thank Newcastle hero Peter Beardsley for his kind words in the dressing room afterwards and Dons supporters for making the trip.

“It was a great touch from Peter,” said Mark. “The academy manager at Newcastle and club staff also really looked after us all brilliantly. For Peter to come in and say those things at the end of the game was fantastic and shows the class of the club and everyone involved. It was unbelievable and a great moment for us.

“I could not believe the amount of fans that we had up there. I knew there was a coach going up with parents and a few fans, but when I saw that we had so much support in the other stand too I was in shock. It was unbelievable.”

  to view it.Newcastle GloryA video clip of Dons players celebrating afterwards in the dressing room and Peter Beardsley’s kind gesture is now on our official You Tube channel. Click on

The picture above (taken by Stuart Butcher, Pro Sports Images) shows Alfie Egan and Paul Kalambayi celebrating glory last night.


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