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Dons sign new goalkeeper

George Long joins on season-long loan deal

4 July 2017

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

AFC Wimbledon are delighted to confirm that a season-long loan deal has been completed for the signing of Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long.

Neal Ardley said that the 23-year-old topped a list of 15 potential goalkeeper signings with a thorough search completed on the best options available.

"This is the signing that we thought was imminent last week, but it has taken a bit longer," said Neal. Credit to Bayzo and our video analyst Alex (Panamarenko) because they put together really thorough video footage, compiling data and stats for us to go through. The whole of the staff sat down and went through the process bit by bit until we whittled 15 potential goalkeepers down to five. Then we whittled five down to a top-two and George was the first person that we decided to go for.

"We thought that logistically it might be difficult, but we decided that George was the best option and many months later we have managed to get it over the line. We had to stay patient and stick with it. We thank Chris Wilder and Sheffield United for their help and we hope that this will be successful for both parties. We are delighted with the signing.

"When we looked through the process of the best player for the position we wanted, the top-three were all loan signings. When we went through everything we looked for that physical stature and George is 6 foot 4 inches tall, he is a real athlete, and quick across his goal. He came through with a lot of expectations at Sheffield United, but last season did not go according to plan. Sheffield United brought in a keeper who did outstandingly well. We've put a lot of homework into this and we feel it is the right time for both parties to bring George here."

Born in Sheffield, George came right through the academy ranks at his hometown club. He went onto make over 100 appearances for the Blades with first-team experience also gained at Oxford United and Motherwell.

Capped at England Under-18 and Under-20 level, George was included in national Under-21 squads when Gareth Southgate was in charge.

Via the link above, iFollow subcribers can now watch a full interview with George after he signed for the Dons.

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