Young full-back interviewed on Dons Player
Academy Young Player of the Year Tom Scott is aiming to follow in the footsteps of his father and make a successful career for himself in the game.
Our Academy Director of Football Mark Robinson, who knows Peter Scott from their teenage years together at Fulham, believes his son shares that same determination to achieve things in the game.
Midfielder Peter made over 300 appearances for Fulham in the 1980s at a time when the Cottagers just fell short of reaching the top-flight and he went onto play for Harry Redknapp at AFC Bournemouth.
, Mark recalled: “Peter was a bit older than me. He was 18 and I was around 14 or 15, but I trained with the Under-18s and I sort of knew Peter - he was horrible to me! Funnily enough, I remember him well because he had such a winning mentality and that stood out. Obviously, Tom has learned from that and taken those traits from his Dad.Dons PlayerDuring an extensive interview for
“Tom has got that strong mentality. He has the odd, little moment, but they’ve become less and less as the season has gone on. He’s a winner. There’s things you can coach and things you can improve upon, but the winning mentality he’s got is in him.
“What I try to do with him is manage it, because he puts so much expectation on himself, that’s been the only problem now and again because the expectations are so high that on the odd occasion it’s affected his game a little bit, but he’s learning to deal with that so much better now. If you’re a winner, you’re a winner, and the more we can get of those players, the better. I’m fully confident he’ll just get better and better next year.”
Click on the link above to watch a clip of the interview with Mark and Tom on our official You Tube channel.
A left-back who played a key role in Wimbledon’s march this season to the last-16 of the FA Youth Cup, Tom joined the club last summer – and his daily commute on public transport from Slough shows his commitment to the cause.
“My Dad played for Fulham, Bournemouth and Barnet and had a great career in the game,” said Tom proudly. “He’s someone I can learn off of, he’s my main role model and when I was younger I said I wanted to be like him. He’d say, ‘No, watch players in your own position!’
“I’m just thankful that I have him and the rest of my family behind me. Without Robbo and James Oliver-Pearce though, none of us would be where we are today. Alan Reeves has done a lot for me in terms of helping me understand how to win games.
“With ‘Robbo’ and James we do a lot of technical work and they’ve improved me as a player. With Alan, it’s pretty much carrying on with what I’ve learned from the Under-18s, but Alan has given me different parts to my game. He’ll tell me what he wants me to do, I’ll try and implement that and do as well as I can for him.”
“It’s been absolutely fantastic really. At the start of the season I never thought I’d figure for the Under-21s and having played a couple of games this season, it’s been absolutely brilliant.”
There was plenty of competition to win the Academy Player of the Year as a number of Dons youngsters stood out. An impressive roll-call included goalkeeper Joe Bursik’s England U-17 honours, League One debuts for Jayden Antwi and Toby Sibbick, plus Anthony Hartigan becoming the first player born in this century to sign professional forms for AFC Wimbledon.
However it was Tom, a vocal presence in the Dons backline, who got the end of season plaudits from Mark and Head of Academy Jeremy Sauer.
“We’ve got so much quality in the squad,” said Tom. “When Jeremy called me up and let me know that I was receiving the award, I was shocked because I honestly didn’t know it would be me! You can see the quality we’ve got in the squad with how far we went in the FA Youth Cup and going on an unbeaten run from the end of November so I was delighted to receive it.”
Mark believes that Tom’s character will give him every chance of following the likes of Will Nightingale and Alfie Egan into the first-team squad.
“He’s taken the transition from Under-18s to Under-21s football in his stride and what you’ve got to remember is that he’s a young one as well. “He just goes for it. He plays with no fear and that’s what you need to do. I always say to the boys ‘don’t make up the numbers – there’s no pressure – but you need to go and try and make an impact and if you do, you’ll stand out’. I know Neal and Alan Reeves (under-21s coach) well enough that if you give a positive reaction, they will forgive you and that’s what Tom does – he gets straight back on it.”
“What I try to do with him is manage it, because he puts so much expectation on himself, that’s been the only problem now and again because the expectations are so high that on the odd occasion it’s affected his game a little bit, but he’s learning to deal with that so much better now. “If you’re a winner, you’re a winner, and the more we can get of them the better. I’m fully confident he’ll just get better and better next year.”
Dons Player subscribers can now access the full interview, which includes Mark talking about taking the academy further forward next season after the successes of recent years.