Ollie Palmer said he’s ‘loving every minute’ of life at AFC Wimbledon – and his first goal in front of fans at Plough Lane recently was rewarded with a kiss!
For a man with close ties to Wimbledon – his grandfather Tony Wright played for the club – celebrating with our supporters is special and he wants to share more of those moments after scoring against Gillingham.
Ollie recalled: “After I jumped into the crowd someone smacked a kiss on my lips! “You look at our away fans and how they’ve turned up for the cup games – it’s kind of blown me away really. The support has been unbelievable. You can hear them throughout the whole game and you need that 12th man sometimes – that’s what probably pulled us through on Tuesday night.
"It wasn’t a good performance, but the fans were behind us, supporting us the whole way, and we gave them a goal in the 94th minute. We’ll need that throughout the season, and we will need them again on Saturday at Ipswich. It will be a packed stadium, and it will be a tough place to go, but with the ability we’ve got in this dressing room there’s no reason why we can’t go there and get three points.”
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a new lease of life since fully recovering from a hip operation – and he believes that Mark Robinson has created the right environment for him to flourish.
“It was tough for me after I joined with my hip injury and getting setbacks,” added Ollie. “It was hard for me to deal with because there wasn’t really a target for me to come back to. It was just a case of trying to get back, getting my fitness up, and then I was breaking down. It was tough physically and mentally. Since the time when Robbo came in my fitness picked up, the injuries started to heal. I would say from August to March was very tough, but from then onwards I’ve loved every minute of it – playing under Robbo. That run we went on at the back end of last season was massive for the club and this season I’ve got off the mark. We should have more points on the board.
“Since Robbo came in we’ve lost seven games in total out of around 30. Out of those seven you would probably say we should have only lost two or three of them. This season we should have won 1-0 against Gillingham, and we probably should have walked away from Sunderland with a draw. Two deflected goals in a week was really frustrating, but we’ve got to put that behind us now. We’ve got to keep building. There’s a lot more to come from all of us, and that’s the most exciting thing.”
Our number nine ended last season in great form and at the age of 29 he’s keen to help guide a young squad towards success with his experience.
“We’ve got Ayoub, Pres, Dapo, and Rudi joining in – everyone brings something different with their unique abilities. If we can come together it can be a really powerful front line.
“If you look at most of my goals throughout my career they’ve come in the box – I’m a goal poacher who gets in the right place at the right time. If you look at the EFL and the Premier League, 70 per cent of goals come from crosses.
“I wouldn’t normally be one of the oldest, but in this changing room I am! You’ve got to keep some of of them in check, but they are great lads. Everyone is on a level playing field and there are no egos in this dressing room. Everyone gets on well, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this changing room.
“The gaffer has made sure he’s brought in good characters – I think that’s important to any dressing room. It is important to any team that’s actually done well. You’ve got to be good people first of all, willing to work hard, and run through brick walls for each other.”