The bid for silverware in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup was referred to as a ‘significant moment in AFC Wimbledon Academy history’ by Michael Hamilton – and we followed the triumphant march to glory.
Almost five years ago, Rob Cornell put together ‘Blog On The Tyne’ as our Under-18s earned a memorable victory against Newcastle United, and this time he joined academy staff and players on the journey to Rotherham.
Under-18s manager Rob Tuvey summed up his pride after the Dons won the national competition with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a dramatic winner by goalkeeper Matt Cox, in South Yorkshire. It came nine months after the young Dons won the Southern Area Final, but it was definitely worth the wait!
“I am just so proud of the boys, they deserve it,” he said. “They come in every day and they work hard, but it’s not just the effort from the boys as it’s the staff as well. This includes Robbo’s contribution in helping to start the academy and a lot of people doing work behind the scenes. It means a lot to reward those people with a trophy. We did not play our best, but I don’t care because the cup is coming home with us. I am over the moon for them. I can’t wait to get the fans into Plough Lane, and hopefully for us to parade the cup around. It’s the first one for the trophy cabinet, and it’s a massive feat for all the boys. It’s a shame that the fans couldn’t be here, but we can’t wait to celebrate with them.
"My biggest message to all our academy boys is, 'if you enter a tournament, let’s bring the cup home, playing the Wimbledon way'. It’s about progressing boys towards the first-team, but also picking cups up along the way. Winning is a habit, and we want to get used to winning.”
A 20-minute video from yesterday, includes the following:
- An initiation song by striker Obed Yeboah – Stay With Me by Sam Smith
- An inspirational team-talk by manager Rob Tuvey with captain Isaac Ogundere invited to talk the squad through the game plan
- Interviews with Academy Operations Manager Michael Cook, Lead Youth Phase Coach James Oliver-Pearce, Academy Manager Michael Hamilton, and Head of Coaching Anthony Ferguson.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Pic credit for team image: Jim Brailsford