Lifting the Youth Alliance South East title in front of our fans on Saturday made a lasting impression on our Academy captain Ben Mason and teammate Hugo Few.
Even though our young Dons wrapped up the league crown at the start of February, by beating Cambridge United in style at our training ground, the proud moment of finally getting their hands on the silverware wasn’t lost on our talented duo - almost two months later.
“It’s something we’ll treasure,” said defender Ben. “It was great to finally go and get the trophy and to be able to celebrate a little bit more with the boys. Obviously at Plough Lane as well meant a lot to us. To lift the trophy, get all our medals and to clap a nearly full stadium was a great feeling. That was the aim throughout the season, to be able to do this. To be able to say that we’ve finally done it and to do this at Plough Lane and in front of fans was even better.”
“Setting high standards was key to it,” said midfielder Hugo. “Keeping to it, working hard every day and sticking to what we do well. It was a great experience to lift the trophy in front of the fans, especially as it’s the first time ever that we’ve done it. We went on a long, winning streak and it’s hard work that has got us this trophy.”
Having been an important figure in the side last season, that knocked out Burnley and set-up a tie against Tottenham in the FA Youth Cup, skipper Ben is now hoping to clinch his first professional deal with the Dons.
“Personally, it was always an aim to be the first captain to bring home league silverware,” said Ben. “It’s something I’ve worked towards, but so too have the team. It means a lot to us. We’ve had a lot of challenges as well this year, but we came through it together. As Hugo said, the team spirit has been great. There’s probably not a better group of lads that any of us would have wanted to achieve this with.”
Having capped a memorable first year as a scholar, Bermuda-born Hugo has had a taste of silverware with Wimbledon, and he’s already set his sights on adding even more.
“Hopefully we can make it back-to-back trophies next season,” said Hugo. We’ve got a good squad, with good under-16s coming through, so hopefully we can do it again!”
You can see the full interview with Ben Mason and Hugo Few below, via the video link to our official YouTube channel.