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Neal congratulates U-18s

7 January 2016

First-team manager praises spirit of squad

Neal Ardley has saluted AFC Wimbledon’s youngsters for coming through a big test of character to win at St James’ Park in the FA Youth Cup last night.

Having played in the FA Youth Cup himself as a young footballer, Neal knows that it’s a tough competition to do well in and he was quick to pay tribute to the achievement of the Under-18s in reaching the last-16.

“For the lads to not get overawed at such a big stadium and stick to Mark Robinson’s game plan is a credit to them,” said Neal. “I’ve worked with players who went onto play over 100 games at senior level, but they just never performed in the competition. It is a huge test of character and to come through it the way our lads did makes all of us proud.

“I played in the FA Youth Cup and managed to reach the semi-final and it is a special competition. For our lads to go to a place like St James’ Park and win is a great achievement and they deserve to have a mouth-watering tie against Chelsea or Man United to look forward to in the next round.”

AFC Wimbledon Commercial Director Ivor Heller said: “On behalf of the Football Club Board I wish to congratulate our Under-18s on an incredible achievement. We are all chuffed to bits and everyone at the club is so proud of what the coaching staff and players have achieved.”

  .Cup GloryTo view a short clip of Dons players celebrating at St James’ Park on our official You Tube channel, click on 

Interviews with manager Mark Robinson, Alfie Egan, Will Mannion and Paul Kalambayi with WDON commentator Rob Cornell posing the questions will be on Dons Player shortly.

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