By Rob Cornell
AFC Wimbledon visit National League South side Woking tomorrow evening for an Appreciation Match for their long-serving striker Giuseppe Sole.
Neal Ardley is expecting a good workout, as they look to build on their already impressive fitness levels demonstrated in Saturday’s opening friendly.
“To be fair, normally when you play against teams higher in the pyramid you do well and vice-versa - teams below you can do well against you,” said Neal.
“It’ll be a tough test. We’ll make sure players are fit after the weekend, try and get another player or two over the line and into the club and then we’ll start planning who plays what. It’s all about bedding everybody in and what we’re trying to become as a team.”
The Dons will take a similar squad to that which performed so well against Championship side Reading on Saturday. Wimbledon ran out 4-2 winners against Paul Clement’s squad, with goals from Kwesi Appiah, Joe Pigott, Egli Kaja and Kane Crichlow, as the younger players stepped up to seal victory in the last half hour of the game.
Former Kingstonian and Hampton and Richmond boss Alan Dowson took over as Woking manager in mid-May, as the Cards look to make a swift return to the National League following relegation.
One of his many recruits this summer is a familiar face to Dons fans. Former AFC Wimbledon winger Christian Jolley, who was part of Terry Brown’s squad that achieved promotion back to the Football League in 2011, has followed Dowson to Woking. Young midfielder Declan Appau was previously with our Academy. Both players missed Woking's 3-0 victory at Fleet Town though and Jolley is expected to remain sidelined.
Giuseppe Sole, who will return to the Woking line-up for the night, made his first team debut nearly twelve years ago. He scored 111 goals in 352 appearances for the Cards and has played for the England C team.
The two clubs last met in a friendly at Woking just under two years ago. On that occasion a Tom Elliott double helped the Dons to a 2-1 victory, as they prepared for life in League One following promotion.
Admission prices, for the game at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, have been set at £10 for Adults and £5 for under-16s. Kick-off is at 7.45 pm.
Our photo shows strike pairing Joe Pigott and Kwesi Appiah celebrating after they both scored against Reading.
Pic credit: Stephen Wright (Pro Sports Images).