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Paris ready for cup clash – and he hopes there’s no future plan B!

Young striker and manager interviewed ahead of FA Youth Cup match

19 November 2021

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His proudest football moment came when he was studying intently for his GCSEs, but Paris Lock is hoping there will be no need for a Plan B in the future!

Paris, who has just turned 17, will be leading the attack tonight for AFC Wimbledon Under-18s in the FA Youth Cup versus Charlton tonight. And he's aiming to create more academy history in the competition after scoring the winner against Burnley last season, a goal that came at a time when pressure was building in the classroom!

Our full-time scholarships with the academy include an educational element, but he's hoping there will be no need to fall back on it in the future.

“I would like to say that I multi-tasked well! My head was more with football than education – I can’t lie! I came in for football, but afterwards I would make sure that I did my studies to the best of my ability. I need a Plan B with the grades to do that."

Paris ensured that he remained level-headed after his stand-out moment against Burnley.

“It was just one goal and anyone could have scored it. I’m an attacker, and that’s what I do! It was nice to receive a lot of praise, and good words from fans, but that’s gone now, and we have to focus on the next game.

“I’m an attacking player, exciting in one v one situations, and I’ve got a good press to help the team defensively. Those are my main attributes as a player.”

There was a price to pay for Paris when he was called up for our first-team friendly against Kingstonian in the summer as it meant that he missed his school prom at Fulston Manor!

On a serious note ahead of tonight's match, manager James Oliver-Pearce said he has been very pleased with the reaction of Paris and his team-mates after their first defeat of the season.

“I spoke to the lads at the weekend and told them that if they were going to show they are a good team then their reaction was the most important thing. It was not just that we lost a game as there were some other factors in it. I had a meeting on Monday afternoon when we were due to train, but that went on for 20 minutes longer than scheduled.

"As I came out I could hear a lot of shouting outside! I was thinking, ‘they are messing around, they are not switched on’, but they were setting up the first practice and they were leading it themselves. I’ve enjoyed the performances and results as much as anyone, but that was as proud as I’ve been this season. It was a great reaction after their first defeat: showing that they are a team, they are learning, and they are able to take control.”

"Charlton are a category two academy, and we are category three. A lot of that comes down to facilities and how much you are investing in your structure. Charlton are top of their league at the moment, and they have an excellent track record of bringing young players through. We know some of the coaches down there and they have an excellent staffing structure, and very good players. We know the challenge is going to be difficult, but we go into every game thinking that we can match the opposition. We go into every match aiming for the boys to put in a performance that warrants being in a Wimbledon shirt."

Show your support for our next generation by cheering on the Dons at Dartford on Friday tonight. Entry is priced at £3 for adults and £1 for U16s and concessions on the door, with gates opening at 6.00 pm.

Click on the link below to listen to Rob Cornell's full interview with James and Paris.

 

 


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