Tom Soares is bristling with experience as a key influence on Wimbledon’s new-look, bearded midfield line.
The 32-year-old set up the winner in the 2-1 victory at Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. Tom was credited as a driving force by team-mate Scott Wagstaff after the win, with Anthony Wordsworth also earning plaudits.
“Scott Wagstaff has got a classic beard and Liam Trotter has got his moustache going,” said Tom with a smile, as he acknowledged the efforts of his colleagues across the middle in an interview with our premium iFollow Dons channel.
Wimbledon's recent form is not down to facial hair though, but more to do with experience that’s helped shape a three-match unbeaten start to the new campaign.
“There’s a lot you’ve got to do the older you get,” said Tom “I’ve been looking after myself a lot better with injuries and with things off the field as well. I think that helps a lot. You’re always learning with the experience of playing, that’s what I like to think.
“By setting the example of being a leader around the dressing room, it can help a lot with the younger players. At times they may come to you and ask you a few things and I think there’s a good balance between the youth and experience in the team.
Tom is fully aware Wimbledon's credentials will be tested tomorrow when they visit Oakwell and face early pacesetters Barnsley, but it's a game he's relishing in prospect.
“I think it will be our toughest test so far,” said Tom. “They’ve come down from the Championship and still have the same squad, pretty much. It’ll be a massive test for us, but the boys are raring to go. We had a great result on Tuesday night against a good team and showed character, when we came back from being a goal down to win. The boys are looking forward to it.
“We know it’s hard for the fans to get to the away games, so every fan that gets to them we thank them very much for their support. It’s a massive help when you’re away at these tough places and you’ve got the Wombles there cheering you on.”
The full interview with AFC Wimbledon midfielder Tom Soares is available to subscribers on our iFollow Dons video platform.