Isaac Ogundere surged clear for an impressive win, as our Academy emerged from lockdown by staging its annual curtain-raiser for the season at Richmond Park.
Second-year scholar Isaac was unable to beat the “Richmond Run” record of 42 minutes 28 seconds - set last year by joint-winners Huseyin Biler and Elliott Bolton - but he did knock a highly creditable three minutes off his previous years’ time by clocking 44.33.
“It was great, to be honest,” said Isaac, who has figured in first-team pre-season matches. “It was a good run-out and doing this every year is good for us as well. It helps with our mentality and shows what we’re about as a club as well.”
With event stalwart Mark Robinson occupied by first-team duties, under-18s Head Coach Rob Tuvey became even more involved this year for the team-bonding exercise.
“It was tough!” said Rob. “About one-and-a-half kilometres in one of the lads felt his back, so I had to jump off my bike and have a go! It’s good for myself and for the boys to see that I practice what I preach! I had to dig in. I had some dark moments, but you must dig in. You have to get yourself through it and it’s part of being a team.”
“It’s really important for us that we make these sorts of events go ahead,” said Academy Physical Performance and Medicine Manager Jenna Richards.
“The boys have been really good coming back. We do temperature checks everyday for symptoms (of Covid-19). It’s been a few more obstacles for us to overcome, but we continue to do the things that are good for their development in a safe way.”
Top-3 in Richmond Park Run (approximately seven miles):
- Isaac Ogundere (44.33)
- Ben Mason (44.59)
- Morgan Williams (48.21)
Isaac, Ben, and Morgan are pictured left to right above.
Take a look below at Rob Cornell's full production of the event with clips of an introduction to this season's Under-18s and an interview with Dons promotion hero Seb Brown, who is a goalkeeping coach at our academy.