Two AFC Wimbledon Supporters Talk To Vital Lincoln City
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And now for the answers provided by Ray:
How long have you supported AFC Wimbledon?
Supported Wimbledon’s football club since 1971. 16th October will mark 50 years since my first Dons game – a 2-1 win over Folkestone in the Southern League. I think I’ve seen us play in twelve different divisions now. It’s been quite a journey.
Where did you finish last season?
20th after PPG was applied. The debate about whether we would have survived had the season been completed, still surfaces occasionally. Usually inside the heads of bitter Tranmere Rovers fans.
What do you think of your manager?
Very impressed with Mark Robinson so far, given that he’s had to work with what he was left with squad-wise. He’s instilling a completely new culture within the club from top to bottom and given he’s the former academy player, has brought through some exciting prospects.
What were your hopes and expectations for the 2020/21 season?
First and foremost, to avoid relegation – which we’ve done with a game to spare. I also wanted to see a few more home-grown players ousting some of the journeymen we’ve been lumbered with recently – and that’s now happening.
One(s) to watch?
Obviously, without the 22 goals of Joe Pigott this season, we’d be sunk. That said, we aren’t a one-man team by any means and midfield youngsters Jack Rudoni and Ayoub Assal have burst onto the scene in recent months.
Which sides did you think would finish in the top six at the start of the season?
I’ll be honest here and say I didn’t think the Imps would be. In no particular order, I thought Sunderland, Ipswich, Peterborough, Hull, Portsmouth, and Doncaster.
Which sides did you think would finish in the bottom four at the start of the season?
Ha! I was closer with this one and did think Rochdale, Northampton, Wigan, and Swindon might struggle.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
Looking from the outside I always admired the passion and togetherness that the Cowley’s instilled in the club and was relay surprised when they took the Huddersfield job. Hats off to the job that Michael Appleton is doing though and with the playoffs being a bit of a lottery, you have a good a chance as anyone of being in the Championship next season.
What do you think the score will be?
We won’t be coming with the ‘on the beach already’ mentality and Robinson has hinted he wants to keep much of the squad together, so I’ll go for a competitive 1-1 draw and hopefully none of the defensive frailties we’ve endured in our last two matches being on show.
Random fact about your Club?
Our left-back Nesta Guinness-Walker is the great-grandson of actor Sir Alec Guinness.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
Probably your Nottingham Forest loanee Brennan Johnson. Was very impressed by him in the game at Plough Lane earlier in the season.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as an AFC Wimbledon supporter?
Hmmm. So many proud ones, but nothing will really ever top being at Wembley to see Dave Beasant lift the FA Cup in 1988. Embarrassing? Probably getting heckled from the terrace at Hampton & Richmond when many of us ran on the pitch at full time to celebrate promotion from Conference South and I heard one of our fans yell (half-jokingly) “Get off the fucking pitch Armfield you’re a Board member now!” (I was at the time…)
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
That’s difficult, I’ll take underrated as the most promising – and that’s Matt Cox. Currently the England U17 goalkeeper, he scored from 80 yards in the last minute at Rotherham to win us the EFL Youth Alliance Cup in November and is being (reportedly) being watched by a few clubs already including Manchester United. I’m kinda hoping he might get his EFL debut against yourselves.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
We do – the Dons Trust – and it owns the club, so quite a major role!
Which was your favourite match involving AFC Wimbledon?
In the AFC Wimbledon era, probably beating Luton in the Conference Playoff final to reach the Football League – in just nine years.
Which was your least favourite match involving AFC Wimbledon?
Any game against Milton Keynes is always the least favourite.
Do you have a Former Players Association at AFC Wimbledon?
We do – WOPA (Wimbledon Old Players Association) – it’s thriving and about to expand even further I’m told.
What is the best thing about Wimbledon?
Well, I’d have to say the beautiful new football stadium at Plough Lane. But Wimbledon Village is very nice (albeit very expensive) and if I won the lottery, I’d move there. (And with house prices, that’s the only way I’d ever be able to afford it…)
Have a go at our Lincoln City v AFC Wimbledon Quiz below:
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) May 9, 2021