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Alan optimistic for future, ahead of season opener

More opportunities for home grown talent as Central League begins

5 September 2017

By Rob Cornell

Alan Reeves said he is optimistic about continuing to progress more youngsters towards the first-team, ahead of a new season for the development squad.

Speaking ahead of the opening Central League fixture away to AFC Bournemouth, the coach said: "We're here to get the strongest first-team we can and hopefully that'll be by getting some of our home grown youngsters in there and at the moment we're looking okay.

"It was nice to win a League title last season, but it's not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal for footballers is to win games as much as you can and if you're playing well and competing well - then normally you're winning more than you're losing.

"I think year-by-year, as long as I've been here, the standards and the bar has been raised and the young lads we've had coming through have been getting better and better. They are looking stronger mentally and physically, which is a credit to the system we've got underneath us.

"The ethics they learn at a younger level when they are coming through leave them with less for me to teach them, because they've already been taught it.

"All footballers want to win, regardless of age, but ultimately we're here to serve the first-team – whether that's the Academy, the under-18s or my team – we're all here to serve the first-team," said Alan in an interview to our official club YouTube channel – available via a link below.

For an insight into the work of AFC Wimbledon's Development coach and his thoughts on the progress of Toby Sibbick (pic), Egli Kaja and Anthony Hartigan – see our full interview with Alan Reeves.

Alan will have the experience of attacking midfielders Tom Soares and Harry Forrester to call upon when the Dons open their league campaign tomorrow (1pm kick-off).

Soares is set to make his return from injury and Forrester is scheduled for more game time, for the reigning South West and East champions.

"Harry has not played a lot of games lately and Tom hasn't played this season so he needs minutes. The gaffer passes them down to me in the under-23s and I'm happy to have them as I want the young lads to play with good quality, experienced players to see how it rubs off on them.

"A lot of the time the gaffer doesn't really like to put squad players down to the 23's, he likes them to stay in and around the first-team regularly, but we've had a good session this morning.

"We had a couple of good eleven versus elevens this morning against the first-team squad to iron out a few things, because Bournemouth are going to be passing it out from the back as they're a Premier League outfit. They've got a style of playing and we've got a style of play where we're going to try and stop them."

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