Paul Osew has recalled the ‘amazing’ atmosphere that greeted his first Wimbledon goal 19 months ago – and he can’t wait to celebrate with our supporters again.
Paul’s breakthrough into our youth system came after his talents were spotted at an AFC Wimbledon Foundation course at Southfields Academy, so he knows all about our unique story and the significance of tonight’s test event at Plough Lane.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s match versus Liverpool Under-23s, Paul said: “It will feel like déjà vu and take me back to the game versus Rochdale. Hopefully I will get another goal and this time I will know how to celebrate properly! It’s not the same without the fans. Sometimes the noise coming out of the audio speaker is delayed. To have the fans back is going to be very big and obviously we are back home, back to Plough Lane, after 30 years. I went to Southfields Academy in Wandsworth years ago and people were talking a lot then about getting back to Plough Lane.
“It was my first home start against Rochdale, and to walk out and hear the fans roaring was great – there was even a song for me that I didn’t know about! I was surprised at the same time, but the atmosphere was amazing. I didn’t even know how to celebrate when I scored! Anthony Wordsworth told me to go to the crowd. I had fans messaging me saying they loved my play down the wing and that I was going to take us to the Prem!”
The game tonight will also offer some of our players a chance to play in front of Wimbledon supporters for the first time, including Ethan Chislett, who joined us last summer.
“It will obviously be special for me as I haven't played in front of fans for so long, and I've not been able to play in front of the Wimbledon fans since I joined,” said Ethan. “It’s a momentous occasion for me, and it’s one I’m really looking forward to, as I’m sure all the boys are. We’ve been training this week and we are looking sharp because we want to give it our best shot, so that the fans see what we are about. I am just really looking forward to it because it’s going to be an amazing occasion, especially for the fans. Considering what they’ve done for the club, it’s brilliant for them.
“I’m a Liverpool fan, so it will be quite a cool event for me. I don’t want to spend another season playing with no fans. It feels odd and doesn’t feel like football if I’m honest. I’m raring to go. I’ve not had a continuous time within the starting 11, I’ve picked up a few injuries along the way, which is a first for me, but it’s probably been the biggest learning experience of my career.
“I am buzzing with Robbo at the moment, I’m sure all the boys are, just because he’s so passionate. Obviously, he’s also got that footballing intelligence. I think the passion he has for the fans and the club is spectacular. Jurgen Klopp is very passionate and that transfers to the players. I think the same has happened with Robbo and he has been brilliant since he’s come in.”
Click on the links below to watch the full interviews with Paul and Ethan.