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Eddie: First interview with our new Assistant Manager

"It’s a great story and I just hope that with my experience that I can help Mark"

5 April 2022

Eddie Niedzwiecki suffered a bruising first encounter in the top-flight against Wimbledon over 35 years ago, but now our new Assistant Manager can’t wait to help with our fight to stay up in another London derby tonight.

“I was part of a Chelsea team that got beaten up 4-0 at Stamford Bridge one day,” said the former Welsh international goalkeeper. “Credit to them. They got a lot of stick. Maybe they were directed in one way they used to play football, but there was a way and a means to it. There are many ways to play this game and they came about a very successful way.

“They were always very difficult to play against, very well organised and a credit to themselves and the game. I know the history behind everything here. I know how difficult it was to play against the old Wimbledon and the history they created. Hopefully, now we can create a bit of history ourselves.

“I had a lot of friends at Wimbledon. When I first started on the coaching ladder Ron Suart, the chief scout, was like a father figure to me. One of my mentors and probably my main influence in coaching was Don Howe and obviously he had a of influence at Wimbledon. I also have links from my Chelsea days with Dave Beasant, Vinnie Jones, and Dennis Wise. I’m not lost on the history here – I know all about it. I’m here to try and bring something to the party.”

Eddie missed Mark Bowen’s first call to join him in our battle to beat the drop, as he struggled to get a signal on his mobile at Wembley Stadium, but when he was able to make the connection things moved swiftly to resume their working relationship again.

“I was watching the England versus Ivory Coast game with one of my sons,” said Eddie. “All of a sudden, I saw I’d got this missed call from Mark. Trying to get reception at Wembley was quite difficult! When I did, he mentioned to me about the possibility of coming in and would I come and help him, and it went from there.

“It’s been a marvellous story. There are a lot of people here who have had such a feeling for the club over the years and have that determination and that desire to take it back to somewhere close to where it used to be. Hopefully, we can be a part of that journey.

“It takes time. Everybody wants things done today or yesterday! But it doesn’t work like that. It’s a great story and I just hope that with my experience that I can help Mark and the other staff, the players, and the other people around here. I’m an old head with wide shoulders – somebody who doesn’t go too crazy but is in control of the situation.”

Watch our extensive interview with our new Assistant Manager Eddie Niedzwiecki from the training ground on Monday below, via the video link to our official YouTube channel.

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