Young goalkeeper rewarded after impressive rise
Goalkeeper Joe Bursik has today committed his future to AFC Wimbledon after a rise through the ranks that started when he was just eight years of age.
It caps a brilliant week for the academy and Joe with AFC Wimbledon Under-18s having reached the last-16 of the FA Youth Cup once again.
Speaking during an interview for our official You Tube channel, a delighted Joe said: “I am over the moon. The fact I have come through the academy and worked my way through the ranks is massive for me. I have grown up at the club and I've had so much support from all the coaches here. I was with Andy Little and Jordan Knight right the way from when I started up until Under-14s, before Michael Hamilton coached me at Under-15s and Under-16s. Jeremy (Sauer) and ‘Robbo’ have also helped. ‘Bayzo’ has also really pushed me on recently.
“When I had a meeting with the manager he said I have ability and a lot of potential, but I have to fulfil that potential. I have to keep up the hard work.”
Click on the link above to watch a video interview with Joe and Academy Manager Jeremy Sauer.
Jeremy spoke about the progress Joe has made since he first signed him and he also summed up the big strides our academy has made during the last decade.
“Joe was playing for us when we were in the Sunday League and he was telling me earlier that I signed him for the Under-10s C team. Back then we had A, B and C teams. With the players who have been here longer, we look at their identity and connection with the club. You can tell that they get what we are trying to do here at Wimbledon instantly. That way into the first-team is what the fans want and it is superb.
“If you compare what Joe gets now to what he got back then, you would not believe the difference. When Joe started we had kids turning up in Arsenal and Chelsea shirts and the difference now is astronomical. The biggest thing is what the boys get in the professional phase. We are all as one with the first-team, Under-18s and Under-21s at the training ground. ‘Bayzo’, ‘Robbo’ and me will always be having chats about the lads.
“From Under-16s, ‘Bayzo’ took a big interest in Joe so we have our first-team goalkeeping coach with his bundles of enthusiasm taking an interest in our younger age groups. That is fantastic, and it’s part of our identity and culture. With ‘Bayzo’ and Jordan Knight, their enthusiasm and passion pours through and they bring their experience for the young players. The boys are lucky, but in Joe’s case he has made the best of it.”
Watch out later for an interview with ‘Bazyo’ on our official You Tube channel.