It was a very different pre-season for AFC Wimbledon back in 2002 with trials held on Wimbledon Common!
Fast forward 17 years and our current manager Wally Downes is aiming to build on a remarkable rise that has included six promotions and maintaining League One status for three successive seasons.
After masterminding last season’s Great Escape, Wally wants to make his squad more competitive next season, but he’s grateful to everyone connected with the club’s progress for the opportunity to do that.
“It’s great to be in this division and I have to pay my respects to everyone who got us to this level,” said Wally. “It’s fantastic to see the old photographs and how many people turned up and wanted to play at the time (for the trials at Wimbledon Common). To think we’ve gone from there to having the new stadium within our grasp and to be playing at this level considering where we started is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.”
“That was the journey, getting us to this far, and now we have to maintain it this year. In a perfect world we go into the new stadium in the Championship. Failing that, it would be great to take us into the new stadium with a team that’s challenging and on the up.”
The Dons are today heading to Wexford FC for a pre-season friendly, which takes place on Saturday at 2.00 pm. If you missed Wally’s interview ahead of this trip, see our previous article.