By Rob Cornell
Andy Barcham is playing his role in Wimbledon’s rebuilding process by passing on his knowledge to younger players and showing the new signings “the Dons way”.
“It’s not my first pre-season, that’s for sure!” said Andy in an interview with our premium iFollowDons channel. “I will use my experience and help the young lads to develop. That’s what I had when I was a young lad coming through and anything I’ve learnt over the years I can pass on to them.
“The gaffer is going to rebuild and add to the squad. It’s up to us now to progress, make the new lads feel welcome, create that team spirit, show them the Dons way and carry on taking this club forward.
“The three that have come in so far have settled really well. It’s always been a really easy group to settle in to, to be honest. I’m sure they’ll say that we made them feel really welcome. They are very good additions. It will be nice when we can get away and see their initiations and make them feel more at home! I’m sure they are going to add a lot this season."
Andy was speaking after another tough, training session in the build-up to tomorrow's opening friendly against Reading. A clip of the interview is available below, via a link to our our official YouTube channel.
“It’s been different with the players we’ve had leaving, but the manager has been working hard to bring players in," said Andy. "It’s a nice chance for the young lads to get a go. They’ve stepped up to the plate and they’ve come back in great shape which is nice to see. They are pushing the senior boys at the front of the queue in the running and really trying to stake their claim for a place. It’s a great opportunity for them, but everyone is ‘one group’ at the moment which is good. It’s up to them to stay in the group and show the gaffer that they deserve to be there.”
The flying winger isn’t keen on having the “experienced” tag attached to him just yet though, despite having been at the club for three years and passed the 100 appearances mark last season. Even though - like many - he’s not a fan of running in pre-season, Andy still has that drive about him to help keep pushing AFC Wimbledon forward.
“Staying in League One stood out for me last season, for sure. Everyone worked so hard at the club – the staff, players, fans and volunteers. We were so desperate not to take a backward step, so we were absolutely delighted when we stayed up and solidified our place in the league. This season it’s the same again – it’s all about progression and pushing forward. That’s always been the way at this club and that is what we’re looking to do. It’s going to be difficult, we all know that, but we’re always the underdogs. It’s nothing new to us, so we’ll rally together as we always do. Hopefully we’ll keep writing the script," said Andy.
“Everyone has got that buzz around the club about Plough Lane. It’s fantastic news to know that we’re going back there. It’s going to be great to watch that unfold and develop and hopefully be ready for next season. It’s something everyone at the club can’t wait to see and obviously players can’t wait to play in.”