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Training

Goal scorer Tom smashes record at annual Dons event

Coverage and interviews from our Academy's Richmond Run

3 July 2022

Flying front man Tom Wilson maintained his sporting prowess at our Academy’s annual curtain-raiser to the new season, when he shattered the course record by four seconds.

Tom, who scored 37 goals last season, was first home on Friday and with that he beat the previous best time of 42 minutes 11 seconds. That was set by the new scholar only last year, when our under-16s attempted the Richmond Run for the first time.

Pictured above (from left to right) are the top three finishers of Tom, second place Kai Jennings (centre) and Leo Young, who came third.

“My aim is to go under 42 minutes next year,” said Tom after completing the event in near perfect conditions. “It was hard. I went out quite fast, but the hill killed me! After that it was really difficult, but I pushed through, head down towards the end and some of my team mates on bikes really helped me. It was enjoyable once I’d finished!”

“It’s part of our tradition,” said Academy Manager Michael Hamilton of the character-building exercise. “In many ways it’s kind of an initiation into what we do and why we do it. It’s quite significant - not just in terms of physical development, but also the mental development and setting the tone for the season.

“The psychological side of things is the biggest part of it. It’s about being nervous the night before, making sure you prepare in the right way and when you get here remaining positive. If the boys succeed, as well as we believe they can do, there’s going to be lots of ups and downs and it’s about how they deal with the adversity and those negative moments which will lead to success or not.”

You can watch the full story of this year’s Richmond Run below, via the link to our official YouTube channel.

We also gave midfielder Morgan Williams a camera on the start line, and he captured the mood amongst his fellow young Dons!

Morgan was on the substitute’s bench for our League One game at Bolton Wanderers earlier this year and recently returned from Croatia, having been on international duty with the Welsh under-18s squad.

Find out how Morgan got on as a cameraman and interviewer via the link below.

Richmond Run 2022 (approximately seven miles):

  1. Tom Wilson (42.07)
  2. Kai Jennings (44.44)
  3. Leo Young (46.50)
  4. Aron Sasu (47.05)
  5. Ollie Downs (47.40)
  6. Ibrahim Bangura (48.00)
  7. Harry Sidwell (48.28)
  8. Morgan Williams (51.50)
  9. Sonny Albert (52.06)
  10. Paris Lock (55.08)
  11. Luka Ziger (58.48)

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