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Neal swoops for striker

11 March 2016

Deal completed in time for Morecambe tomorrow

Neal Ardley has beaten off competition from other clubs to clinch the loan signing of Oldham Athletic striker Rhys Murphy.

The 25-year-old has signed until the end of 2015/16 in a loan deal that also includes the play-offs if the Dons remain in the top-seven.

Murphy, who started his career at Wimbledon’s academy, has a prolific pedigree at League 2 level as he enjoyed a successful spell with Dagenham & Redbridge and struck nine goals in 15 games on loan at Crawley Town this season.

Murphy joined Wimbledon as an eight-year-old, before switching to Arsenal, where he progressed right through the academy. A notable achievement for Murphy was that he helped Arsenal to FA Youth Cup glory in 2009 with James Shea as one of his team-mates.

Murphy had loan spells with Brentford and Preston North End before leaving the Gunners in 2012 and he then spent a season with Dutch club Telstar. Following two successful seasons with Daggers, England youth international Murphy joined Oldham last summer.

Having scored against Wimbledon for Dagenham in a 1-1 draw here in 2013, Murphy is a player who Neal Ardley knew all about and he had tracked him for some time.

Speaking during a video interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “We have always liked Rhys as a player, even before he signed for Dagenham. With Bayo Akinfenwa suspended and Tom Elliott struggling, we were down to two strikers. Rhys has had several clubs after him so we thought it was the right time to strike. He will go straight into our squad for tomorrow’s game.”

Meanwhile, Neal Ardley revealed that Christian Toonga has left the club by mutual consent. The midfielder made four first-team appearances during 2015/16 after joining Wimbledon last summer.

 A full interview with Rhys Murphy is now on Dons Player, along with more from Neal Ardley on the signing. 

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