Back in 2002 Rob Tuvey was cheering on the Dons at Sandhurst for that first league game after the club’s rebirth – and now he’s relishing the chance to help breathe new life into our League One season.
The manager of our Under-18s was in the dug out at the DW Stadium on Saturday, assisting Interim Manager Mark Robinson, as Wimbledon secured a first victory in two months. The final whistle signalled a special moment for Rob, but as an up-and-coming coach he just wants to keep helping his beloved Wimbledon in any way that he can.
“It was a proud moment for me,” said Rob. “To have been at the first AFC Wimbledon league match at Sandhurst and then to be with Robbo on Saturday and get three points at Wigan was a dream come true. It’s something that me and my family are very proud of, but it’s only the start hopefully. We want to get more points on the board and take this club further.
“I have absolutely loved it - I am so grateful to Robbo for giving me the opportunity. I just enjoy being out on the grass every day and problem solving with the players, seeing them get better every day. My job is ultimately to make players better and we feel we’ve had a good impact upon the players in the past week. Robbo has got some methods that I’m used to and we haven’t really changed our ways.
“We’ve brought everything that we do as an academy into a first-team environment. We’ve heard it said that things we did in the academy may not work for the first-team, but what we are seeing so far is that those methods are working. It has been really fun. Coming into work hasn’t really changed much, it has just been a case of getting to know people and what makes them tick and what they respond well to. All the methods we have put in place the players have responded well to.”
The picture above shows the squad training on snow-covered pitches at New Malden earlier today. With a full week to prepare the Dons for the home game versus Rochdale, our coaches were determined to beat the elements and get a training session in today.
“The snowfall was coming down quite heavy, but the show must go on, and we had to get out there and train today. It was a day for us to get some important tactical work in for the players. We managed to get in a training session at KCL and the intensity was fantastic. The attitude shown by the boys in the past week has been absolutely fantastic and that was in evidence again today.
“We are here to work and we have to attack every day. Robbo has come in and one of our targets is to be the best that we can be every day, and that includes us as staff. We have to problem solve and find solutions, wo we had to put the players through their paces. It was a good day of work and hopefully while others were sleeping we were here working. That’s what this club is built on.
“Robbo brought in a Performance Coach and that provided a great insight as he’s someone we’ve worked with at the academy before. He provided the players with that insight into what can give them that edge or that extra one per cent from certain situations, including set pieces. The players have responded well to it, having interactive sessions with him. We are trying to get marginal gains by getting the right people in at the right times to engage with the players. We don’t know everything and there are experts out there from different fields.
“One of the training drills we did today involved working the players when they are fatigued. When they make a run it’s about trying to get the information to their team-mates that they are underloaded. It’s about all those traits that we want to see in a Wimbledon shirt: to be the hardest working, aggressive in our thoughts, in our pressing, and in our approach to every game.”
Click on the link below to watch Rob Tuvey's full interview with Rob Cornell and footage of the squad training in the snow today.