By Rob Cornell
Jon Meades is looking forward to continuing his “incredible journey” with AFC Wimbledon, starting with the visit of Walsall tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
“It’s amazing!” said the Welsh left-back, having reached 100 appearances for Wimbledon in last Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Bristol Rovers.
“It was mentioned on social media and it’s been a long time coming really. I’ve had a few injuries here and there which have been frustrating. It’s been a great privilege and an honour and hopefully I can go on and get to the 200 mark and go even further – that’s my aim.”
Jon reflected on his successful time with Wimbledon in an extensive interview with our premium iFollow Dons channel. A clip of the interview can be seen below.
“I never envisaged I’d have made 100 appearances for Wimbledon. I think my first game was away at Exeter on a cold Tuesday night and we lost. It’s been a great journey from there, having come on loan that season and then staying up after that last game.
“I then had a couple of years away, but came back and obviously had the promotion-winning season and then had a really good campaign last season by staying in League One.
“It’s been an incredible journey for me – there’s been a few lows with a couple of injuries and a few sticky patches, but overall there’s been a huge amount of highs and I’ve enjoyed literally every minute of it.”
Wimbledon’s revival in form partly coincides with Jon's return from an ankle operation, which ruled him out last April until his first league start in the win at the Memorial Stadium last weekend.
“I’m looking forward to facing Walsall, off the back of two positive performances and results. All the boys are ready, we’ve had good match preparation and we’re looking forward to going out there, putting in a positive performance and hopefully getting three points.
“The management have really looked after our bodies, as two away games are heavy on the legs and also mentally it’s quite draining. They’ve freshened us up, we've prepared on team shape and looking at their weaknesses and strengths. Everyone is in the right place and ready to go.”
Jon felt the effects of the long, midweek journey to Oldham, as the Dons returned with another point having kept a clean sheet. However, he feels his body has recovered ahead of Saturday’s game against The Saddlers.
“I’m feeling really good. I hadn’t played for a few months. My legs are feeling it a little bit, but injury-wise it’s all good, so it’s just case of getting back to fully match fit – which I think I’m nearly there. I just need to make sure I don’t pick up any other injuries along the way and it’s just about managing me really.
“On the Wednesday I was feeling it, having played against Bristol Rovers and Oldham, as the pitches are quite heavy at this time of the season. It did take a bit out of my legs, my hamstrings are a little bit tight, but that’s normal as I think everyone is feeling that.”
The former Welsh under-21 international defender is confident Wimbledon can maintain their recent run of form at The Cherry Red Records Stadium this Saturday.
“It was my first league start this season against Bristol Rovers. It was a great performance from the whole team. The strikers got the plaudits, but I think as a back five we really worked well and so did the midfield, so it was an all-round really good performance.
“I’ve always said, I think you create your own luck – the amount of chances you create and how many chances you prevent on your goal," said Jon.
“I think that determines how it comes and goes. I think the boys are feeling it turn and the performances for the last two games have been really good. We’re starting to reap the rewards now and hopefully we can continue with that.”
The full interview with Jon Meades and the pre-match thoughts of manager Neal Ardley are available on iFollow Dons.