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Special seven: Jason selects a key match in Wimbledon’s history

Second part of our interview with former Dons skipper Jason Goodliffe

8 April 2020

As part of our ‘Catching up with Jason Goodliffe’ interview, we asked our former captain a selection of questions about his time at the club that were a bit trickier to answer!

There were a few pauses from Jason when we asked him to select his funniest team-mate, the best player he played with at Wimbledon, and his favourite match, but he got there in the end! To be fair, it wasn’t easy for Jason as he played in a highly successful squad that enjoyed successive promotions in 2008 and 2009. Jason is shown above celebrating the draw at Hampton in 2009 that effectively sealed the Conference South title.

Take a look below at Jason's interesting answers to our seven questions. 

What was your favourite AFC Wimbledon match?

"The one that springs to mind the most is the Chelmsford game at home. They had beaten us to the Ryman Premier title in the previous season when we won the play-offs. Then we were neck and neck the season after. They came to Kingsmeadow and there was a really big crowd that day – I think there were 400 supporters locked out!

“There was a special atmosphere, Kingsmeadow is a tight ground anyway, and the fans made a lot of noise to get behind us. I think that was the day when everyone at the club came away thinking ‘we are going to win the league this year’. I think the players really stepped forward after that as well, we had that belief that we could do it. That game was a special one.”

Who was your funniest team-mate?

“I would say Alan Inns. He was always joking around and playing pranks on people, you had to always make sure that you were facing him and you didn’t have your back turned! He would always be up to something!”

Best player you played with at Wimbledon?

“I would say Tony Finn. He played on the left side and he was the most talented player I played with at Wimbledon. He should have played at a higher level. I would say that Jon Main had the biggest impact on the team at Wimbledon. Until Mainy came we were struggling to score goals and win games, but he changed that. Jon played for Tonbridge Angels and we played against them in the match before he joined us. Before the match Terry Brown warned ‘don’t injure their centre forward because we’re signing him after the game!’ Mainy was really busy in the first-half though, to the point where he had to get one, so I let him have it in the second-half!  I told him what I thought of him! On the Thursday he signed for us, so we became good friends. We share the same birthday – 7 March – so that’s quite funny too.”

Best aspect of playing for Wimbledon?

“The fans. Wherever we played we took a big following. Away games always felt great because of the support that we had. The whole ethos of what the club stands for made it special to play for Wimbledon: the club had got ripped away, but the fact that the fans stuck two-fingers up to everybody and said ‘we will set our own club up’ made you feel proud to be a part of it all. To see where the club is now – in the same division as Milton Keynes – makes it very satisfying to have played a part in the story.”

Having had a long career in the game, what would your advice be to young players trying to make it in the game?

“To work hard, put everything you’ve got into it, and if you are good enough you should get your rewards.”

Did you have a match day ritual?

“I had loads. If you were speak to any of the players who were in the dressing room with me they would tell you that I had certain ways of doing things! I would always put my right socks and shins pads on before my left ones. If we had won a game I had to wear the same pants for the next match! I was very superstitious and set in my ways in terms of my match day routine.”

Do you keep in touch with team-mates from your days at Wimbledon?

“Even after all these years we still get together at Christmas time. We have a Wimbledon reunion, getting together once a year, and it’s good to keep in touch with those lads. I had a message from Bass the other day asking how I was. It’s great when you’ve been in a successful team like that, it’s always good to keep in touch with people.

“Since Christmas I’ve spoken to Stuart Cash and lads like Alan Inns, Andy Little, who is at Ebbsfleet United at the moment, and Sam Hatton. I also keep in touch with Mickey Haswell and I bump into Luke Garrard on the football circuit. I keep in touch with a lot of the players who were my team-mates at Wimbledon.”

In case you missed the first part of our interview with Jason Goodliffe, take a look at our previous article on the official website. Extended highlights and goals from Jason's favourite game - the 3-1 win against Chelmsford - are below.


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