Interviews as young Dons gear up for tilt at national competition
It’s just four days until AFC Wimbledon take part in the FA Youth Cup again and young defender Tom Scott cannot wait to wear blue and yellow in the competition.
For many of this season’s crop of Under-18s, it will be a debut under the lights at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Tuesday (7.30 pm kick-off) as the young Dons host North Greenford United in the first round.
During an interview which can be viewed on our official You Tube channel, Tom spoke enthusiastically about grabbing his opportunity with both hands after being released by Reading in the summer.
Travelling in from Slough on the train, Tom is up at 5.00 am every day to get here, but meeting ‘Bayzo’ on his commute in certainly lifts spirits on the way to training!
“I played a couple of games here on trial and then Wimbledon signed me,” said Tom. “In the first couple of weeks I found it quite hard to get into, but after that things have picked up for me. I’ve never played in front of the Wimbledon fans, but I’ve been along to first-team games and the atmosphere is absolutely amazing. It would mean everything to me to play in front of the fans and hopefully get the win.
“I wake up at 5.00 am every morning because I have a few trains to get in. I meet the first-team goalkeeper coach Ashley Bayes on the way into the training ground. When I get in I have jobs to do, including cleaning the boots of the pro players. Then we train from 9.15 am until 11.30 am, before having lunch, and then go to the Bounce gym in the afternoon. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we go to Southfields Academy. On Wednesdays, we have education all day after a hard training session on the Tuesday.
“The boys have really taken me in and just made me feel welcome. I’ve started to feel at home on the pitch. People like Toby Sibbick have helped me and I feel that I’m really getting into it now.”
It’s a different scenario for Toby, who was a part of last season’s memorable FA Youth Cup run to the last-16, but his rise through the ranks is an example of what can be achieved to others in the squad.
“It’s just been an amazing year for me,” said Toby, who now plays regularly for the development squad. “After signing for the Under-16s, I got my scholarship and I managed to get a professional contract earlier this year. The start of this season has been excellent for me and I’m buzzing.
“We are just keeping cool (ahead of Tuesday). We know that this will be their cup final as they will want to make their own club history. We just have to focus on ourselves. We want to be bright in front of our fans and show what they can look forward to in the future.”
It will be £5 entry for adults and free for Under-18s to attend the match on Tuesday at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
channel.You TubeAn interview with Under-18s manager Mark Robinson can also be viewed on our official