Some of our latest crop of talented youngsters gained more invaluable experience yesterday, ahead of this season’s FA Youth Cup campaign.
AFC Wimbledon’s under-18s will get a chance to play at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, with a date to be confirmed soon for the first round tie against Gillingham and a crop of the squad gained experience of playing at our home ground.
As well as important match-time for many of Neal Ardley’s squad, in the 4-0 win over Southend in the Central League, it also served as an opportunity for Tyler Burey (pictured in the pre-season game against QPR) and substitutes Huseyin Biler, Jack Rudoni and Donte Lodge-Francis.
“I’m very much looking forward to it, hopefully to get the win first,” said winger Tyler, after netting the third goal in the Dons victory. “For me personally, I want to try and take the team through and do as much as possible to make the team win.
“Jack Rudoni (who scored the second) is a very good character in training. He’s stepped up for the under-18s as captain and he’s been training with the development side recently and been doing very well.”
Right-back Toby Sibbick was part of that successful young Dons squad that reached the last sixteen of the Youth Cup in 2016, after famous victories at Watford and Newcastle. Although he’s now battling with Tennai Watson for a starting position in Neal Ardley’s line-up, Toby still had time for some words of wisdom and encouragement for the next generation.
“I think (coaches) Mark Robinson and James Oliver-Pearce do a lot of work on the opposition,” said Toby. “You have to take in every bit of information and listen to them. If they do that and take it out onto the pitch, I’m sure they will come out on top because they’re a good side.
“Me and Tennai are good mates off the pitch, as well as on it. We both know we’re fighting for the spot and its good competition for us both.”
You can see the full interview with two of Wimbledon’s rising talents below, via our YouTube channel, including Toby’s thoughts on coming up against Premier League West Ham in the Carabao Cup and striker James Hanson on the training ground.