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How going to extra-time has helped Wimbledon's captain

Woody benefits from working with up-and-coming Dons coach

13 October 2021

Skipper Alex Woodyard has credited Jack Matthews for making a big difference to his game already, after just one session with the Individual Development Coach.

“It just goes to show that I’m 28 and still learning,” said Alex as he prepares to lead Wimbledon back into League One action at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

“Young Elliott Bolton has been working with Jack and he’s been scoring some screamers from the edge of the box. When I spoke to Elliott about him, he said he was brilliant. I’ve worked with him once and I was actually very surprised – he’s really good. I had worked with him before, but not on a one-to-one basis and he’s really helped me.

“I spoke to Robbo about getting into good areas on the edge of the box and having a shot, so these past two weeks I’ve been working on my shooting just so that when I get in that position, I’ve got the confidence to back myself.

“Jack broke down the technique for me and now I feel I can always revert back to type, because he’s given me the steps and he’s broken down the whole technique to striking the ball. I had a session with him, and I’ve just been working on it myself after training, so hopefully now when I get in those positions, I can hit the back of the net.”

Head Coach Mark Robinson has already seen enough of his captain, who has figured in all eleven of our league games so far this season, to suggest he’s worthy of a call-up to the Welsh national squad.

“I’m actually more Scottish than I am Welsh, to be honest!” said Alex. “I’ve got a bit of everything in me! The English in me is probably the least. My Nan’s side is Welsh, my mum is Scottish, and her side of the family are all Scottish.

“Sometimes it does make you think, how they get these call-ups, because I know a couple of boys who have got more of a London accent than me and yet they are out there playing for Ireland! It’s good though and I’m sure they found it somewhere in their family!

“I think I’ve done alright lately. Performances have been good, so I keep working hard and keep on improving. One day we’ll get there, when we get promoted to the Championship, hopefully that call-up will come.”

Like everyone else at the club, Alex was disappointed to hear that defender Will Nightingale has been ruled out of action for three to four months following an injury during training.

“It’s such a shame, because he’s been excellent for us,” said Alex. “He’s a top player and both him and Ben (Heneghan) at the back have been solid. They’ve been a great partnership for a number of games, going back into last season.

“At the end of the day though, it happens. Will is a great lad. When he came back from injury last year, he showed that sometimes an injury can take you to the next level. It’s the same with Paul Kalambayi, when he came back into training the other day, he looked really sharp. He had loads of touches of the ball – more than he’d probably have in a normal training session.”

You can see the full interview with our captain Alex Woodyard below, via the link to our official YouTube channel, as he assesses our start to the season and the resumption of the campaign this weekend.

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