Set up in July 2013, the AFC Wimbledon development squad aims to continue progressing players who have finished their academy scholarships by introducing them to a higher level of football.
The squad helps players bridge the gap between academy and senior football - with a focus on the 18-21 year olds - where levels of physicality and intensity notably increase.
The coaching focuses on players who could make an impact at first-team level, exposing them to the rigours of senior football in a supportive environment, but also keeps developing those players who need more time to make that step up.
The development squad plays fixtures over the course of the season and will comprise a number of players, including:
- selected Under-18 players;
- first team squad players.
The environment gives these young professionals better exposure to senior football, both on and off the pitch, as players will get the opportunity to interact with more senior squad members and learn the traits they will need to one day represent the first team.
The club hopes to add to its roll of honour of players progressing through the ranks to the first team, with Will Nightingale a great example of a player who has worked his way through to eventually captain the first team for the 2019/20 season.