By Rob Cornell
Scott Wagstaff said a chat with Neal Ardley several weeks ago convinced him that he wanted to be a part of the AFC Wimbledon story.
Shortly after signing, Scott gave an exclusive interview to our premium iFollow Dons channel and this can be viewed via the link above.
“When I spoke to the gaffer, he was the main reason I joined,” said Scott. “He put some great ideas across and I’ve taken them on board and I’m really looking forward to the new challenge of playing for the club.
“I’m looking forward to making my own history here and hopefully we can do that this season. You know the story behind what’s happened in the past and it’s exciting to get to know that even more than what I knew already.
“There were a few other clubs interested, but I think everyone else is really following the World Cup! As soon as I met the gaffer I had an idea in my head I wanted to play for him because he’s a young manager, exciting and I thought I really want to play for him.
“The manager knows my energy and work rate is key to how I play and I think that’s how we’re going to be looking to play this season. That’s probably one of my strongest attributes and hopefully we can bring a few goals and assists to the team as well this year. I always put in 100 per cent for whichever club I play for, hopefully that will come across to the fans and I can do it for them this season.”
Scott sees himself making an easy transition into the Dons dressing room, with the 28-year-old right-sided midfielder joining up again with many familiar faces.
“Seeing the ‘big man’ (James Hanson) sign is great! I know quite a few of the other lads as well; Joe Pigott, Deji Oshilaja and Cody McDonald. I know quite a few lads from having played against them over the years, as you get to know people," said Scott.
Having a wealth of Football League experience with Charlton, Bristol City and Gillingham, Scott is also enthused by Neal’s plans to inject youth into the squad and to pass on his knowledge.
“It’s exciting times seeing young lads come through. They’ll be the ones keeping me on my toes! It’s good to have young players coming though and hopefully we can help them out and have a good season. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at training.
“It’s a young, athletic group Neal is putting together. The gaffer just had a bit of a dig at me saying I was one of the older ones now! At the moment, we’ve got to make sure we do well on the pitch and if we can push up the league - you never know - we could be in the new stadium in a different division as well."
Scott is also very aware of what will be expected of him in a Wimbledon shirt. Among his previous battles with the Dons, he lined up against us in a Football League Trophy Area Quarter-Final in 2014, on the way to helping Bristol City win the competition.
“Games against Wimbledon are always tough, they always work hard,” said Scott. “The pitch is excellent here and hopefully it’s going to be a good setting for us to play some good football this season. The fans have always been behind the club and it’s always been quite a good atmosphere when I’ve played here. I’m looking forward to them being on my side this time!”