Interview with academy product after great time for the club
Will Nightingale put a frustrating time behind him to play a part in AFC Wimbledon’s recent resurgence and he has thanked the management team for showing faith in him.
When Will joined AFC Wimbledon as a nine-year-old, Bolton Wanderers were in the Premier League and Saturday’s draw at the Macron Stadium showed how far the club had come since reformation.
“I grew up as a young kid watching Bolton in the Premier League,” said Will, who missed three months of the season with a knee injury. “I’ve been at Wimbledon since the age of nine and it’s been such a big journey, both for the first-team, and for me coming up through the youth ranks. It’s nice to have that close relationship with the fans, like I do, but they are also great with the other players. We had a good turn-out (at Bolton) and that drove us on. It’s such a big stadium, but that doesn’t intimidate our fans.
“It is brilliant to be back and I just want to be out on the pitch. It’s all well and good doing stuff in the community for the club and things like that, but I want to be giving my all on the pitch. You can be the best player in the world, but if you are injured, it is no good to anyone. I just want to give everything I can when I get my chance.
“I thank the manager and our coaches for giving me the opportunity. They have had to be patient with me. I would not have played in a 3-5-2 many times, but I think me, ‘Robbo’ and Darius have adapted well to it. The manager and ‘Coxy’, especially as he is the defensive coach, have motivated me and given all the help that I need. They have given me little pointers and all the information I needed. Then it was up to me to give it back to the club and obviously it’s worked with seven points out of nine.”
Will added that that the squad’s team spirit has been a big part of the recent improvement with players adapting to the changes well.
“Everybody is pushing each other for places,” said Will. “Everyone saw how well Dean Parrett played the other night and he got a goal, but he did not play at Bolton. Dannie Bulman was outstanding against Walsall and he could have been upset to miss out at Scunthorpe. It goes to show that everybody is in it together. We all want the best for the club and we are all going to help drive it forward. We are a little bit down because we want to go and win every game, but everybody would have taken seven points out of nine from the last three games. We have to try and keep this little run going.”
The full interview with Will Nightingale is on Dons Player.