Seventeen-year-old midfielder Jack Rudoni’s progress has been rewarded with a pro contract at AFC Wimbledon.
Signing on the dotted line to join the senior ranks caps an impressive rise for Jack that started as an 11-year-old when he joined The Dons after leaving Crystal Palace.
Jack was on the substitutes’ bench for the first-team fixture at Southend United on Saturday and he captained the development squad on Tuesday against Plymouth.
Speaking shortly after signing a pro contract, Jack said: “It’s a brilliant day for me, along with my family and friends. It’s been a long journey as I’ve been at the club since the age of 11. Hopefully, I can be running out soon at our home ground, but right now I’m just happy to have signed here. It’s been one of the best weeks of my life. I didn’t think that I was going to be on the bench for the first-team on Saturday. I went into the meeting and I was sat next to Aaron Ramsdale. I hadn’t even looked at the board, but he was laughing at me! I looked over at the board and I was ecstatic to be on the bench. On Tuesday it was an honour to be named captain with all those senior players out there.
“There have been loads of coaches here that have helped me. Especially in the last two years, I’ve had a lot of help. It’s helped me as a person, even more than as a player. I’ve always been a technical player, but I’ve had help in terms of understanding the game. I need to be able to step-up into men’s football and learn the other side of the game, not just passing and all that stuff, so that when there are three points on the board I can deal with the pressure and help the team.”
Academy Manager Jeremy Sauer said: “We are really proud of ‘Rudi’, it’s a great day. He has been here since the age of 11 and I actually coached Rudi at another club before he came here. With the players that have been here for a long time it’s always satisfying to see their journeys all the way through. He’s a fantastic footballer and I’ve got high hopes, as we always did, for him to be wearing the blue shirt and helping to put points on the board for AFC Wimbledon.”
Click on the link below to watch an interview with Jack and Jeremy.