Jack Rudoni’s breakthrough season with AFC Wimbledon has rewarded his perseverance after Crystal Palace let him leave earlier in his career and the midfielder said that it was a real turning point for him.
As we announced on Thursday, the 18-year-old signed a new contract after making 13 first-team appearances this season with Glyn Hodges viewing him as a player who can help push Wimbledon forward when the club moves into a new stadium at Plough Lane.
After he signed his new contract, we conducted a quick Q&A with Jack, which can be viewed below:
What is your favourite match so far?
"My full debut at Bristol Rovers. Whatever happens in my career, that will be one of the best moments in my life. It was my first 90 minutes for the first-team. It was under the lights, away from home on Boxing Day, and we got the win, so it was perfect for me.”
Who is your funniest team-mate?
"There are a few funny ones. Someone asked me this the other day and I said Pigs and Wags, but there are a few funny ones. Pins and Terell are also funny and we have a good group. I will go for Wags and Terell!"
What’s your advice to other young players?
“I would say to keep working hard and never give up. Don’t let anything stop you because you can have setbacks, particularly when you are young. Rejection can feel like the worst thing in the world, but you can bounce back. In the grand scheme of things it can be the making of you. When I got released by Crystal Palace it felt like the worst thing in the world at the time, but I was given an opportunity at Wimbledon and that was the best thing for my career. The time here - coming through the academy and into the first-team - has helped me to improve and get a chance to be a first-team player.”
Who is the best player you have played with?
"I would go for ‘Rambo’. Obviously, he has shown how good he is by going onto play in the Premier League with AFC Bournemouth, but he showed with us that he was a brilliant goalkeeper.”
Who is the best player you’ve played against? "Jadon Sancho"
What was the turning point in your career?
"When I got released by Palace and got brought to Wimbledon. That’s when I met Nigel James, who has helped me a lot. From that moment on, I just got better and better. The help I received helped me to get to the stage I’m at now."
Who was your childhood football hero?
"It was always Messi, probably because he’s left footed like me. I always liked Barcelona too due to the style of play. Since I’ve become older and studied the game, the player I’ve admired the most is Zidane. I loved him as a player.”
See our previous article if you missed Jack’s thoughts on signing a new contract at AFC Wimbledon.
Take a look below at the highlights from Jack's full debut - that memorable 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers.