Ollie Palmer can't wait to continue a proud family tradition of wearing Wimbledon blue that stretches back to the late 1950s when his Grandfather played for the Dons.
On the day that we announced his signature, Ollie spoke with great pride about following in the footsteps of Tony Wright, who previously played for Wimbledon.
"I was talking to my Mum and my Uncle the other day about signing here and he got a bit choked up – he wished my Grandad was still around," said Ollie. "I also have friends who support the club. It is really exciting. I think it brings a little bit more pressure to me because there is that close tie and it means a lot to the family. I’m really excited for them to watch me play back at Plough Lane, where it all started.
“I used to watch Wimbledon at Selhurst Park with my Dad. He was at the cup final and he was at the town hall in Wimbledon when the club paraded the cup. My Godfather is a season ticket holder too."
However, this is far from a sentimental move for Ollie, who said that the influence of Glyn Hodges was a real factor in joining Wimbledon.
“Firstly, I am delighted to be here,” said Ollie. “To walk out at this brand new stadium is going to be an honour and I’m really looking forward to it. The gaffer called me about six weeks ago and I built up a good relationship with him over the phone. It’s massive to feel wanted, that brings the best out of players. The relationship I’ve built with the manager is important, he seems like a fantastic guy and he has coached at huge Premier League and Championship clubs. I am sure he has a lot of knowledge to pass onto me and the rest of the lads.
“If I look at managers who I have played well for – John Yems, Lee Bradbury, and Paul Hurst – I had that similar feeling. The brand new stadium is a huge added bonus. I only live down the road, so it fitted together really well.”
Ollie said that it will be a privilege to play for supporters that have contributed so much to their club and he added that a trio of former Dons pointed him in this direction.
“The fans have put some much in and they are going to get their rewards with this brand new stadium," said Ollie. "They are going to get their rewards from the likes of myself putting in 100 per cent every week, I am going to make sure the rest of the team are doing the same, and hopefully we can get as many points as possible. The fans deserve to be back here after nearly 30 years, there has been a lot of hard work and graft. It has finally come to fruition.”
“Danni Bulman and George Francomb (both now at Crawley) spoke highly about the club. I spoke to Lyle Taylor and he said that he would love to come back and play for the club again, so when you’ve got three players like that talking so positively about the football club it makes your decision so easy.”
“The staff are very humble. They are out there on the training pitch every day, giving the lads the best possible opportunity to progress. My team-mates have been so warm and welcoming. The banter is already flying around and it just seems like a really positive place to be. I’m really excited to get started."
Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell's full interview with Ollie at Plough Lane today.