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Mixed emotions for Dons duo after full debuts

Alfie and Dylan aim to speed up our return

1 May 2022

Young midfield duo Alfie Bendle and Dylan Adjei-Hersey both experienced the high and lows of the game on their full debuts.

They were both called into our starting line-up having been out on loan at Isthmian Premier clubs, but by the full-time whistle were facing up to the prospect of League Two football next season. Although their personal landmarks were bittersweet, teenager Alfie impressed the Dons faithful and it was a day Dylan had been striving for since the age of ten.

“It was lovely to get my debut at just 17, but we didn’t get the result we needed,” said Alfie (pictured). “Relegation is not what you want from your first game, but I’m sure next season we’ll come back and get the points and be up there for promotion.

“I felt it was good, playing in front of so many fans. It gave me a little bit of a buzz. We were second to everything in the first half. We weren’t really getting up quick enough for the second balls. We were a lot better in the second half. The half-time team talk got us up for it.

“We want to try and bounce back as quickly as possible, get us back into League One and hopefully take us even higher. Playing alongside our Player-of-the-Year Jack Rudoni, I can see where I need to be to get to the next step.”

You can see the full interview with Alfie Bendle below, via the video link to our official YouTube channel.

“All my family were here,” said winger Dylan. “It was a proud moment for them. “They’ve showed the dedication to take me to games when I was younger and always been running around for me. It was definitely a big milestone for me and my family.

“On a personal level, it was great to make my full league debut in front of our fans at home. On the other hand, the season hasn’t been the best. We’ve had to end it like that and didn’t manage to get the win. For me, personally, hopefully I can push on next season and help Wimbledon get back to League One.

“I’ve been playing with Alfie since the start of the season, in training and I’ve played against him on loan. He’s a great player, a great young talent, and there’s definitely more to come from him too.

“I played over 40 games on loan at Merstham this season, all 90 minutes, and it was good to get that experience into my development, having been out with a long-term injury. It was great to play all those games and then come back here and train full-time, learn from the senior players, and build upon my game.

“Right now, it’s still quite raw. We’re ashamed and embarrassed with how we’ve played this season, but next season we’re ready to push on and make sure we’re fighting at the top end of the table and hopefully I can be a part of that.”

You can see the full, post-match interview with Academy graduate Dylan Adjei-Hersey below.

Pic credit: Ian Stephen (Pro Sports Images).

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