By Rob Cornell
Defender Rod McDonald was keen to bring his skills as a double promotion-winner to Wimbledon’s ranks when he found out Neal Ardley was interested.
“It’s been a bit overwhelming really!” said Rod, in an exclusive interview with our iFollow Dons channel, which can be seen via the link above. “It came about in the last week when my agent messaged me and said Wimbledon have shown a bit of interest and as soon as I knew about that I wanted to make the move.
“It feels very good to be a Wimbledon player. My time at Coventry has come to an end and I’ve moved on to play more games. Wimbledon seems like a great place for me to kick on.
“The manager knows what kind of a player I am, I try to play out from the back. I think they want to play a bit more football this year.”
Rod, whose father was a striker for Walsall, was born in Liverpool and started out as a youngster with Manchester City towards the end of the Maine Road era. He moved on to Stoke, but when he dropped out of the Football League it became the making of him.
“Playing non-league put me in good stead to be fair,” explained Rod. “I was still in my teens and by the time I was 20 I’d played 150 games, so it was a great experience and I learnt a lot.”
Rod was then given another crack at League football and he grasped the opportunity with both hands, achieving promotions by helping to win the League Two title in 2016 with Northampton Town and last season he was a part of Coventry City’s squad that went up through the play-offs.
“Working with Chris Wilder at Northampton was class,” said Rod. “Coming from non-league, you’re thinking ‘Am I going to get that chance?’. Chris would say, ‘If you train well, you’re playing’. I broke into the team and I got my chance. I went to Coventry to get promotion with Mark Robins, that’s what he brought me in for and that’s what we did.”