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Club News

Young Dons continue to impress at senior level

Focus on Kai Jennings and Ethan Sutcliffe

8 April 2024

Club News

Young Dons continue to impress at senior level

Focus on Kai Jennings and Ethan Sutcliffe

8 April 2024

Young Dons duo Ethan Sutcliffe and Kai Jennings continue to not only adapt, but also impress on loan at senior level.

Midfielder Kai has been with Isthmian Premier side Whitehawk for a brief period and our academy scholar registered a first goal for them early on in his work experience deal. On Saturday he added a man of the match award to his time with the Sussex club, having started in their last-gasp, 1-0 victory at home to Carshalton Athletic.

Kai said: “It was a hard fought game against a good opponent, something I enjoyed because I had to dig in and work hard for the team, and of course it was great to get the win in the end.

“In the games that I’ve started, I feel I’ve done well, I have tried to apply what I’ve learnt at Wimbledon over the years. I’m enjoying the challenge, working hard and most importantly - learning all the time.”

Defender Ethan Sutcliffe has been a regular fixture in the Tonbridge Angels back line, one level up in National League South over two loan spells this season.

He’s also added goals to his game with his first having come in a 2-0 victory over Eastbourne Borough last month. Ethan notched a second during his time with the Kent club, having come up with a powerful header for the equaliser before the break in the 1-1 draw away to Bath City at the weekend.

“I may have gone on about it quite a bit since!” said Ethan with a smile. “I was happy to get the goal in a game which helped earn us a point though.

“Easter Monday was another tough game against Farnborough, who like Bath are also going for play-offs, but I’m continuing to enjoy my time at Tonbridge, getting more and more vital experience at a great club and working with players including Scott Wagstaff.”

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Elsewhere, defender Ollie Downs got another 90 minutes with Bognor Regis Town, who lost 1-0 at home to Hastings United in the Isthmian Premier. Midfielder and fellow scholar Harry Sidwell came on as a substitute for the last half hour or so of Kingstonian’s 3-1 defeat to Margate, in a relegation battle at Imperial Fields.

In the same division on Friday night, second year professional and defender Josh Hallard continues to put two lengthy injury lay-offs behind him. He made the ninth appearance of his loan to Cray Wanderers in a 3-1 defeat to Hashtag United at Hayes Lane. 

Defender and scholar Sean Sankanu has also been a regular starter, playing for Isthmian South Central side Corinthian-Casuals. It’s been a real learning curve for the Dons youngster, with the Tolworth-based club propping up the table. 

However, Sean’s latest 90 minutes came in the 2-1 victory over Northwood at King George’s Field on Saturday. 

North of the border, striker Zach Robinson made his return from a lengthy lay-off due to an ankle injury for Dundee. He came on towards the very end of the Dee’s 3-2 defeat at home to Motherwell. 

As we reported on Friday, defender Will Nightingale is back out on the grass at our training ground as he steps up his rehab from a hamstring injury. The aim is for Will to return to fellow Scottish Premiership side Ross County and the second phase of their season. 

Also at the weekend, our next generation of Academy prospects made it three successive wins and took their goal tally to ten from their last three Youth Alliance Merit League 1 matches. 

Simon Clark’s under-18s side followed up a 4-3 victory at Cheltenham Town the previous week, with a hard-earned win over Leyton Orient at our training ground on Saturday morning. 

Having fallen behind 2-0, the young Dons turned the game around to win 4-2 against the previously unbeaten league leaders and move up to second place in the table.

Photos: Pro Sports Images.

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