Our Academy host a Festival of Football at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Sunday with supporters welcome to come along and support AFC Wimbledon’s young prospects.
At a time when home-grown talents have played a key part in the revival at first-team level, our Academy Head of Football Mark Robinson believes it offers encouragement to the next generation of young Dons.
A whole day of football action involves our academy taking on teams from Portsmouth and AFC Bournemouth. It all starts at 9.00 am on Sunday morning and concludes with our Under-18s taking on Premier League club Bournemouth’s rising stars (7.30 pm kick-off).
The event is free to attend, but supporters need to bring along an ST card, DT card, a previous match ticket, or AFC Wimbledon merchandise to gain entry.
Mark Robinson said: “It’s not just about the Under-18 lads, as we’ve got games on from 9 am with all of the age groups from Under-9s in action. It’s massive, even for the young lads to experience a good crowd and to play at the stadium. It’s brilliant and we try to get as many games in stadiums as we can for them so that they’ve experienced it by time they get to the Under-18s. Being at the main stadium - and obviously I’m sure the first-team are going to be safe come Sunday – we will all be celebrating! It would be brilliant for the players to experience that kind of atmosphere.
“It’s the one year when we encourage people to come down and make some noise. We are quite happy for people to come down, sing, and create an atmosphere. It’s good for the players to experience that and come the end of the night the Under-18s could win the league, if results go our way. That would be fantastic, considering where the team has come from. They won one match in nine, but now they’ve lost just four matches in the last 32. It’s always about development, to make them better players and get pro contracts further down the line, but for them to win the league would be fantastic.”
The full schedule is as follows:
- 9.00 am – Under-9s/10s/11s v Portsmouth
- 11.00 am – Under-12s v Portsmouth
- 1.00 pm – Under-13s v Portsmouth
- 3.00 pm – Under-14s v Portsmouth
- 5.00 pm – Under-15s/16s v Bournemouth
- 7.30 pm – Under-18s v Bournemouth
Take a look below at an interview with Under-18 full-back Jack Madelin.