In the build-up to tonight’s FA Youth Cup match versus Tottenham Hotspur at Plough Lane, Dylan Adjei-Hersey and Kwaku Frimpong talked passionately about what it means to wear the Dons badge.
Kwaku and Dylan (pictured left and right above) have been at the heart of Wimbledon’s run to the fourth round, playing key parts in the victories against Oxford United, AFC Sudbury, and Burnley.
Ahead of tonight’s game, attacking midfielder Dylan, who joined our academy at the age of 11, said: “Within the group, we are all excited for the game. We beat Burnley as the underdogs and here at AFC Wimbledon we always just say, ‘it’s a football game, there are two teams, and whoever comes out on top goes through’. Now we are looking forward to Tottenham and all the boys are focused. We have focused on the league, this new merit league, and we are currently second I believe. Now we have Tottenham coming up. Training has been hard, but hopefully it pays off.
“James has stepped up as Under-18s coach and he has been working with the Under-16s previously. He knows them a lot, and they have been training with us recently. They knew they had a part to play (versus Burnley), even if it was just for the last 10 minutes of the game.
“Since I joined the ethos throughout the club has been the same: hard work, the underdogs, and working for the club, for the fans. I think it’s key for everyone here to understand that the work they put in will enable us to shine.”
Kwaku’s display in the midfield engine room encapsulated the work ethic required to upset the odds against Burnley. He added: “People will think we will be nervous because it’s a big team that we are playing, but we see it as just another football club and it’s 11 versus 11. Whatever happens on the day, we are all confident. We know what we can do, and it’s just about showing everyone else what we can do. We always have that work ethic about us, but we try to stay calm and that comes across in our football.
“Ever since I came to this club all everyone has been talking about is going to Plough Lane and to finally do it means a lot. The fact that we got the win as the first youth team to play at Plough Lane, and the way we won it, meant so much to us all.
“The fact that Robbo has been Under-18s manager means that everything done in the first-team now channels all the way down to the Under-9s. We are like one big family, there’s a big culture and we are trying to do everything the Wimbledon way.”
Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell’s full interview with Dylan and Kwaku. You can watch tonight's match by accessing a live stream on our official You Tube channel.