Joe Pigott has been impressed with the rebuilding job engineered by Glyn Hodges and Nick Daws, as he looks forward to another season with the Dons.
Having been with us since January 2018 and scored regularly since making the step-up from Maidstone United, ‘Pigs’ has been pivotal to retaining our League One status. He believes that the Dons are in good shape to make the coming season more than just about survival.
“The new players have blended in really well and I’ve been really impressed with training for the last seven weeks,” said Joe. “Ethan (Chislett) and Ryan (Longman) are two very promising players, which they’ve shown already. I’m looking forward to linking up with them and there's also Ollie (Palmer) to come in. It’s not just about me improving them and hopefully they can improve me as well.
“Everyone is just buzzing to get on and start the season. The squad seems like it’s in a really good place, the gaffer and Dawsy have done a great job in bringing in players and we just have to back that up by starting the season really well, unlike last season. We are all really excited. It’s nice to have options, probably a few more than we had last year, which we need. The schedule is going to be even tougher this year, so we need to use the squad as much as possible, and pick-up as many points as we can.
“I cannot speak highly enough of the professionalism shown by the lads. We’ve all come back in looking really fit. I think quietly Chris (McConnell, Sports Scientist) has been happy with us, even though he doesn’t show it! He’s been pleased with all the lads’ results and how they’ve come back in shape.”
Joe Pigott took the captain’s armband for the game at Oxford last Saturday and he’s relishing the responsibility of guiding some of the young players in the squad with his experience.
“It seems crazy to think that I’m one of the senior members of the squad! It’s a role I’m willing to take on though, to support all the boys through thick and thin, and put an arm around them when they need it. I just try to make it a good place for the boys to be around. A team that’s good off the pitch is really good on it as well. Depending upon the person, I either give them tough love or a good kind of love! Sometimes players need an arm around them. I just try to get everyone involved in being positive all the time.
“It’s something (captain’s armband) that you don’t think about too much. As a striker, my first priority has to be to score goals, and we’ve got plenty of leaders in the group. Will is captain, but we have other experienced lads like Callum, Luke, and Ollie. ‘Woody’ has also come in and he’s a real leader as well. We’ve got plenty of experience in there.”
In case you missed it, Joe earned a PFA 'Community Champion' award for his work off the pitch with our Foundation. See our previous article for more.
Of course, this season is special for everyone connected to AFC Wimbledon as it marks our return to Plough Lane and Joe can’t wait to play for our fans at the new stadium.
Watch Rob Cornell’s full interview with Joe below.