We are delighted to announce the appointment of Nick Daws as our new Assistant Manager.
With his wealth of coaching and playing experience, Glyn Hodges was quick to conclude that Nick was the ideal man to join our coaching staff. Vaughan Ryan and Mark Robinson will continue to be involved with the first-team, as Glyn seeks to implement a ‘tight-knit’ backroom team that will take the club forward this season.
Nick, who was appointed as our Head of Recruitment in January, has vast experience in football, both as a player and a coach. Prior to joining Wimbledon, Nick was at Scunthorpe United, where he served as Assistant Manager and Manager between January 2016 and August 2018. He has also held coaching roles at Barnsley, Rotherham, and QPR, where he previously worked with Glyn.
Speaking shortly after his appointment, Nick talked passionately about getting back involved on the training pitch and making a difference at AFC Wimbledon.
“This means a lot to me,” said Nick. “First and foremost, I’ve been working at the club since January, which helps because I know everybody at the training ground. Although I’ve not worked directly with the players on the pitch, I’ve got to know them here. I also have a good feeling for the club. I’ve grown to appreciate the history of AFC Wimbledon. I have an affinity with the club’s rise through non league because I came from a semi-professional background, having been at Altrincham as a player.
“I know Glyn really well. I worked with him on the training pitch at QPR, so I know how he works and he knows how I work. That’s one of the determining factors in him asking me to stand alongside him. I am immensely pleased and really looking forward to getting back on the training pitch on Monday.
“I’ve not been out there since leaving Scunthorpe 14 months ago, and that’s been the hardest part, so I will be eternally grateful to Wally and Glyn for getting me involved. I was given the chance to head up the recruitment and I think that’s gone well, we put a lot of things in place that the club didn’t have previously. We will continue with that moving forward and make sure that it continues to work effectively. Fundamentally, I’m a coach – I have 15 years’ worth of experience since I finished playing and a lot of recent experience in League One – so I think I’ve got a lot to offer Glyn, the other coaches, the squad, and the club.
“It’s a challenge for everyone and it’s about building on the momentum from the last month. What Glyn, the staff, and players have managed to do in recent weeks is to give the players that belief back. In terms of how me and Glyn think, it’s very like-minded. I’ve always wanted my team, whether I've been coaching or managing, to be on the front foot, to be aggressive in their play, with and without the ball, and look to score goals, as that’s what the supporters want.
“If you go out with a positive mindset, you can win every game and that’s always been my thought process. Anything is possible and we want to keep that momentum going. No team in the country is going to go the whole season unbeaten, so it’s about how you bounce back from those setbacks and pick three points up again. Everything on the training pitch is geared to winning games of football. That’s my philosophy and that’s what should happen.”
Nick added that the recruitment structure he has implemented at the club will continue, though his priority will now be assisting Glyn with first-team matters on a day-to-day basis.
“The fact I’m now going to be out on the grass coaching and helping with evaluating the opposition, which I’ve been doing anyway, means I personally won’t get out to the number of games that I’ve been attending in recent months, but I will still coordinate that,” said Nick. “I will send scouts out on the ground and they will feed information back to us from games about players. With the coaches we’ve got here we will have all of that covered and also how we handle the young players going out on loan to other clubs. From a personal point of view, I think the recruitment side of things will go from strength to strength and it will help us in the future. It will also help us to plan for directing the younger boys into the first-team, which has been successful so far.”
Glyn Hodges is delighted that Nick has accepted the role and he explained why he’s the ideal choice for AFC Wimbledon.
“Nick has been a Manager, an Assistant Manager, a first-team coach – he has done every job at first-team level. I’ve worked with Nick before, having taken him to QPR back in 2013, and I obviously got him involved in the recruitment here last season. He has a wealth of experience and I look forward to working with him. I am sure his experience will really benefit us in terms of moving forward.
“I got Nick in to do the Under-18s at QPR after he left Barnsley. He had worked with Simon Tracey, who is an ex-Wimbledon player, and I decided to offer Nick a job at QPR. We’ve kept in touch since and I think he’s an ideal appointment.
“Before Nick came in, we had no database and no succession plans, so we started with nothing before he came in. Now you can see the players that he’s bringing in and the players that have been flagged up. If you are not able to get the player you want, we’ve put a system in place that means there’s always another one on the list underneath. We will keep that going between us, we will all go to games and watch players because we all have our contacts. Nick has done great so far, it’s a big enough job to be Assistant Manager, so we will all put our hands in to help him with the recruitment for the time being.”
Glyn was also quick to thank Vaughan Ryan and Mark Robinson for their help during the past month with Wimbledon having won four out of the last six matches. He added that Vaughan and Mark will be retained as part of the first-team coaching set-up.
“I have to thank Vaughan and Robbo for the last month since I took charge of first-team matters, as they have been absolutely brilliant,” said Glyn. “I intend to keep them involved. The aim is to make it a tight-knit coaching unit. We have a wealth of experience of coaching on the training pitch and the plan is to improve individual players and the team, so that we can move the club forward. I’m looking forward to working with all of them.
“Robbo has this season been concentrating on working with the Under-23s and heading up the loans for young players. He will still be involved in that, but I want him closer to the first-team. He is really positive with the way he goes about things, he sees things differently to me and he is a good foil. He will go to all of the first-team games and continue to be hands-on. Hopefully, he grows into the role and we get that strong bond, which can have a really positive effect on the team.
“Vaughan’s technical knowledge is strong. You can give Vaughan credit for putting Jack Madelin on as substitute on Tuesday night. I was thinking of maybe doing something different and he said, ‘put him on’. Vaughan had seen him play for the Under-23s and he recommended that I put him on, so I took his advice. It was a great opportunity for Jack and I thought he did very well. You need as many people helping as possible and I’m really happy with my staff.”