We are delighted to announce Wally Downes as the new AFC Wimbledon first team manager. His assistant manager is Glyn Hodges.
We conducted an exhaustive and rigorous process which started with over 80 applications for the role. Wally Downes had the highest calibre coaching CV of any of the applicants and through two interviews outlined his strategy to increase the levels of performance required to ensure our key task of maintaining League One survival this season, whilst also continuing the legacy of our club on and off the pitch.
Wally previously spent a two year stint managing Brentford and has coached extensively in the Championship and Premier League at Reading, Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Glyn Hodges has also coached in the Premier League for Fulham as well as holding senior roles in player development at a number of clubs, including Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Manchester City.
Simon Bassey will step back from his role as interim manager and continue as first team coach while Steven Reid, who has been supporting Simon in his role, will step down. Simon and Stephen took on the responsibility for seeing us through the transition to a new manager. We are very grateful to them for taking on their respective roles, breaking the run of league defeats and seeing us into the third round of the FA Cup. The current backroom staff will also retain their roles.
We will be holding a ‘meet the manager’ session as soon as practical for fans to meet, or reacquaint themselves, with Wally and Glyn.
During the recruitment process we became aware of some use of social media by Wally that is not consistent with our values. We have talked at length with Wally about this, who has accepted that these messages were ill-judged and he has assured us that they do not represent his views.
In the light of these discussions, we are satisfied that these do not represent Wally’s views. We have agreed a series of actions with Wally that we believe will demonstrate his commitment to the club’s values.
Wally has been coaching in India and returned in time to take up his role today. He said: “I am very proud to be appointed as manager of a club I love dearly. I apologise for my previous use of social media – my comments were meant to be humorous but on reflection they were a mistake. I am very aware of my responsibilities as Wimbledon’s manager and immensely proud to have been appointed. I am now looking forward to working flat out to help to keep the club in League 1."