By Rob Cornell
AFC Wimbledon have made their first signing of the summer with the addition of versatile midfielder Mitch Pinnock.
The 23-year-old joins from National League side Dover Athletic for a fee to be settled by a tribunal.
“We’re delighted to get Mitch over the line,” said first-team coach Simon Bassey. “It had been on-going for a while and another League One club were interested in him, but he showed a real desire to join Wimbledon and we’re really pleased to get the deal done.”
Mitch started out at Arsenal from a young age, but he moved on to Southend United. He’s also played for Bromley, Tonbridge Angels and Maidstone United. Mitch caught Wimbledon’s eye though playing for Dover last season, where he made 43 appearances for the Whites and scored eight goals as they finished a very creditable eighth in the National League.
“We’re looking to bring attacking players into the squad and Mitch has done really well for Dover, especially over the last year or so. We’d tracked him for the last seven months and hopefully he’ll bring a lot of good qualities to the team.
“He’s a good athlete, tall, he can cover the ground, get around the pitch and he’s versatile. He can play in numerous positions off the right and off the left. I’ve even seen him play at left-back, although it’s not his favourite position. We’ve brought a good character into the team to add competition for places.
“I’ve spoken to Jake Lerberl (Dover’s Assistant Manager) about him over the past week to find out more about his character, we’ve had scouts watch him and I went to see him myself. He’s got a good background and we’re really pleased to give him a second chance.
“There were a few other clubs interested, but I felt AFC Wimbledon was the right club for me,” said Mitch. “They’ve taken players from non-league before and given them chances, I felt it would be good for me to come here and it’s a club going in the right direction.
“It’s always good to play at nice stadiums and it’s looking like one, so I’m excited about the club moving back to Plough Lane. Both Jake Leberl and Ade Azeez (a team-mate of Mitch at Dover last season) had good words to say about the club and Ade in particular chatted to me and said it would be a good move for me.
“I’d say the strong point of my game is putting crosses into the box. I’m confident in my own ability, but Joe Pigott showed when he made the step up from Maidstone that it can be done. There are a lot of players out there that don’t get the chance so I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
“I can’t wait to get started, it’s been a couple of weeks sorting everything out, but I can’t wait to get out there and start playing some football. The club has come such a long way in a short space of time and I just want to be a part of it.”
AFC Wimbledon are also delighted to announce that goalkeeper Joe McDonnell has signed a new deal with the club.
“Joe is turning into a fine keeper,” added Simon Bassey. “He’s a good member of the group and you look at him last season and he progressed really well. He came in for the Milton Keynes game and acquitted himself brilliantly. Joe is at the stage now in his career where he really needs to start pushing himself, push on and trying to be a number one is his next goal.”
The full interviews with our new signing Mitch Pinnock and coach Simon Bassey are available on our premium iFollowDons channel.