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Egli aims to round off eventful week on a high

Midfielder in good spirits ahead of Blackpool

1 September 2017

Rob Cornell

Egli Kaja set aside his disappointment at missing out on a potential international debut by notching his first senior goal this week – and now he's aiming to build on it at Blackpool.

The attacking midfielder, who got on the score sheet in impressive fashion in the 4-3 Checkatrade Trophy victory at Barnet, remains hopeful that another opportunity with the Albanian under-21 side will come his way - after a passport issue stopped him from possibly facing Northern Ireland.

"I was over the moon to get my first goal," said Egli in an interview to our premium iFollow Dons channel. "When I saw the chance come, I thought I had to pounce on it and took it. I'd been waiting a long time for that."

A clip of Egli's interview is available via a link to our official club YouTube channel below.

Egli buried his frustrations into the back of the Barnet net in midweek with Wimbledon's second goal, after time ran out - on this occasion - to be available for a forthcoming European under-21 Championship double-header also involving Iceland.

"They thought I had an Albanian passport, but I didn't have one," explained Egli. "I only had two weeks to try and get one, but unfortunately it didn't come in time. Hopefully I'll get a call-up in October when I think they have the next game.

"It should still be okay because I got called up now, but I'm guessing they'll want to see me play again so we'll see what happens."

If Egli continues to show the kind of form he's been displaying since the start of pre-season for the Dons, international recognition shouldn't be an issue in the coming weeks.

"Neal just wants me to keep working hard and stay in and around the first-team squad. He wants me to see the defensive side of the game as he knows what I can do going forward and that's basically it.

"In pre-season I worked quite hard. I had a chat with the gaffer before last season ended and he told me how he wanted me to come back.

"He wanted me to be fit and ready for the season, so in the off-season I had a good time off and rested my mind. I then started training quite hard and then I came back into pre-season feeling ready. It was an important pre-season for me and I think I achieved on that."

Academy Head of Football Mark Robinson played a major role in Egli's teenage years with the Dons youth set-up and he now feels he also owes a lot to development squad coach Alan Reeves.

"Reevesy has helped me a lot over the two or three years since I turned pro and he's done great work with me by helping on my crossing and been a great influence since I left Mark Robinson."

After a week of highs and lows, Egli is aiming to be involved in Saturday's League One trip to Blackpool, as the Dons make their final preparations.

"We've watched them play and they've been doing quite well this season. The gaffer thinks it'll be a tough game so on the training pitch we've been working on a few things to see if we can isolate them in a few areas and I'm looking forward to it."

The full interview with Egli, along with an update from Neil Cox ahead of Blackpool, are on iFollow.

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