By Rob Cornell
New signing Joe Pigott explained why he chose AFC Wimbledon as his number one destination after turning down interest from other clubs.
When the opportunity came along to be a part of AFC Wimbledon’s exciting plans for the future, the striker felt the time was right to move on from his hometown club Maidstone United.
“I’m really happy and excited to be a Don,” said Joe in his first interview after signing for the club (click on the link above to watch the full iFollow interview).
“The club as a whole appealed to me. Just reading about AFC Wimbledon – the first club formed this century to be in the Football League - and what they’ve achieved already over a short period of time is pretty amazing. The club can go on to do great things.
“Returning to Plough Lane was one of the aspects the gaffer (Neal Ardley) spoke to me about. It’s really good times for the club and hopefully we can stay up and really push forward with the new stadium coming.
“I did hear back from several players who played for Charlton and AFC Wimbledon previously and I knew it was a great club. I remember John Sullivan playing in that last game of the season (against Fleetwood in 2013) to help keep the club up in the league. I remember him saying what a great day that was!”
A clip of our interview with Joe Pigott, after signing for AFC Wimbledon, is available below via a link to our official YouTube channel.
Joe has been in good goal scoring form for National League Maidstone, having signed permanently for them only last summer. When Wimbledon showed interest again though, there was only one destination for the tall forward.
“There were a few other clubs competing for my signature, but I was really happy to get the deal done here,” admitted Joe.
“There had been interest from Wimbledon a lot earlier in my career. The gaffer wanted to take me on loan a few times when I was at Charlton and I think he always had an eye on me really, which has led to the interest in signing me.
“We haven’t set any goal scoring targets really. Neal believes I can score goals. I just want to help the team and contribute.
“You have to appreciate these moments – especially coming back to League One. It’s really good for me and hopefully it might prove to be a pathway from non-league back to the league for a few other players.”
It really will be a fresh start for the former Charlton youngster, who had a few successful loan spells at a number of clubs where he crossed swords with Wimbledon previously. Fans may remember he bagged a brace for Newport against the Dons back in 2014.
“I remember Adam Barrett was with Wimbledon at the time, who I knew at Southend. It was a good day for me getting two goals. I’ve always known Wimbledon to be a good side and getting promotion a couple of years ago was just rewards. I just hope I can really contribute to help getting us up the table.
“They’ll all be fresh faces to me and I’m looking forward to getting to know them. It’s a new chapter for me and I’m looking forward to it. I’m buzzing for the first game!
“I was only with Gillingham for a brief, six week spell, but Cody McDonald is an experienced striker and he has always scored goals. It’s always good to have players of his calibre around.”
Having completed the move to Wimbledon for an undisclosed fee, Joe is now aiming to add to his career highlight of helping Southend achieve promotion to League One against Wycombe in 2015.
“The highlight of anyone’s career is scoring at Wembley. The importance of the goal was massive in the context of the game – getting the equaliser in extra-time for Southend. Luckily we went on to win on penalties. That was a great moment.”
The extensive interview with our new signing Joe Pigott and the thoughts of manager Neal Ardley on the deal are available on our iFollow Dons channel.