Interview with rising Dons academy product
Young striker Jayden Antwi is determined to make the most of his big opportunity to become part of Neal Ardley’s plans for the future.
It was announced before last night’s 3-1 victory over Rochdale that the 18 year-old forward had signed his first professional contract with the club having been with the Academy since the age of 12.
“I just can’t wait to get out there and play for the club I’ve been at for so long,” Jayden said. “I’ve been so excited since the gaffer made the offer to me and I can’t wait to get out there and show what I can do.
“I’m more of a striker that likes to get in behind and stretch teams. I aim to cause problems for defenders and make them uneasy. I can hold up the ball as well and be the target man, if that’s needed. I can stretch the game.”
“Neal Ardley wants me to keep working hard and producing what I have been doing, but just at a higher level. I have to prove to him that I can do it at first-team level.
“I knew Jeremy (Sauer, Head of Academy) before I came to AFC Wimbledon. I came here on trial through that and I got in and stuck at it from then.”
Click on the link above to watch Jayden’s full interview after signing with Jeremy Sauer also talking about his development through the ranks.
The talented target man has been in great form for AFC Wimbledon under-18s this season, scoring over twenty goals and helping them reach the last sixteen of the FA Youth Cup. This didn’t go unnoticed by Neal Ardley.
“I’m delighted for Jayden,” said Neal. “He has come on in leaps and bounds during the second-half of the season.
“He’s a centre-forward who likes to run in behind. We’ll work on him now and try and get him mentally and physically ready for what might happen next season. Centre-forwards are always going to get a chance to get on the pitch.”
Jeremy Sauer recalled how the club discovered Jayden’s talent at Under-13 level.
“It was just before we started to formalise the Academy when we got into the Football League and we were holding open trials,” said Jeremy. “Jayden and a couple of the lads came from the same sort of club and we brought him in. He did really well and he’s been here ever since.”