Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

0

Share

Download to read offline

AFC Wimbledon at Wembley

Download to read offline

Related Audiobooks

Free with a 30 day trial from Scribd

See all
  • Be the first to like this

AFC Wimbledon at Wembley

  1. 1. We’ve only gone and Don it: AFC Wimbledon players celebrate promotion GETTING FIT HEALTHY EVENTS AND BANK HOLIDAY FUN See page 6 MOUNTAIN GIRL EVA’S IN PEAK CONDITION See page 3 TRAGIC GAME CORONER’S OPEN VERDICT ON HANGING See page 5 wimbledonguardian.co.uk June 2, 2016 60p DONS ON THE UP Dreams come true for Wembley wonders SPORT EDITOR TIM ASHTON tim.ashton@ london.newsquest.co.uk AFC Wimbledon fans will be watching their heroes play League One football next season after being led to promo- tion by “one of their own”. A 2-0 win over Plymouth Argyle in front of almost 60,000 fans at Wembley on Monday saw the Dons crowned League Two play-off champions, and lifted them to the third tier of Eng- lish football. It came just 14 years after the club’s creation following the FA’s decision to allow the original Wimbledon to move up the M1 left, leaving die-hard Dons fans shedding angry tears. That sense of injustice has helped propel the Dons up the football pyra- mid, back into the Football League in 2011, and onto Wembley glory. Manager Neal Ardley, who made more than 250 appearances for Dons between 1991 and 2002, said: “To stand there at Wembley in front of thousands of people who had their club ripped away from them 14 years ago, as one of Continued on page 2
  2. 2. June 2, 201634 SPORT www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk Wembley heroes: AFC Wimbledon outplayed Plymouth to win the League Two play-off final Pictures: Staph Ousellam ‘IT IS DEFINITELY THE BEST MOMENT OF MY CAREER ’ AFC WIMBLEDON 2 PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 0 PLAY-OFF FINAL 2016PLAY-OFF FINAL 2016 It was only six weeks ago that Jon Meades’ season lay in tatters, writes Tim Ashton. The 24-year-old AFC Wimbledon utility man had ruptured ankle ligaments in the win at Dagenham & Redbridge on April 19, and appeared destined to miss the League Two run-in – let alone a Wembley appearance. He would not kick a ball in anger again until he came off the bench in the second half at Wembley to help Dons secure their place in League One in fine style over Plymouth Argyle. And it would seem that Meades’ future at Dons is safe for the time being as Callum Kennedy, the man who stepped into his injured shoes, has not been offered a new contract. In the meantime, Meades was simply happy to get on the hallowed pitch and play his part in a famous day. “It’s an unbelievable feeling – to think that six weeks ago I thought my season was over,” he said. “I have done everything I could to get back, so to play a part in the game was unbelievable, and the fact we won is incredible – it is definitely the best moment in my life.” The former Bournemouth and Oxford United man, who spent much of the 2012-13 season on loan at the Dons before his permanent switch in 2015, added: “I did not know if I would get on. “I have had a good season, but being out for six weeks meant my match fitness probably was not there. “But I felt good, my ankle was feeling pretty good, and to play in front of something like 60,000 people was incredible.” Prior to Lyle Taylor’s opener late in the second half, the play-off final had been a tight affair with Dons just edging the battle. Meades said: “Lyle is a goal- scorer, that’s what he is all about – his goals this season have got us to Wembley and he has done well to get the goal. “But it was not just him, everyone has played a massive part in the season, his goals have got the headlines, but from back to front it has been exceptional.” He added: “I don’t think there was much between the teams, but I think we just believed more than them [Plymouth]. “In the first half they looked nervous, their big players did not turn up. We’ve got a lot of players who have experienced playing at Wembley, and that showed.” Jon Meades
  3. 3. June 2, 2016 35SPORTwww.wimbledonguardian.co.uk AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley says he and Wembley hero Adebayo Akinfenwa have parted company as the best of friends, writes Tim Ashton. Akinfenwa, who joined the Dons in the summer of 2014, hit the penalty that sealed the Dons promotion to League One. It saw off the threat of Plymouth Argyle in the League Two play-off final after Lyle Taylor had given Dons the lead. Akinfenwa announced on Sky Sports post-match that he had played his last game for Dons, and the club confirmed it on Monday. Ardley said: “We had a really long heart-felt chat earlier this week, as part of our conversations with all the players. “We get on unbelievably well and will stay friends for ever, I hope.” He added: “It was left a little bit in the open, but if he feels he won’t be starting every week, it is best for both parties for him to move on because he probably has at least two seasons left in him.” Akinfenwa said: “I have no ill-feeling or malice towards the gaffer, I will always talk fondly of him – even though I did not play as much as I would have liked to, he never disrespected me. “We part ways, he wants to go in a different direction and so be it, he is the manager. “We have a good relationship, it is what it is, it’s football and we’ll see where I end up next season.” He added: “I don’t want the season to end, I feel good, strong and fit. “I have just started to hit good form recently and I think I have a couple of years left in me. As long as my body wants to play on, I will play on.” ‘WE WILL STAY FRIENDSFOREVER’ Neal Ardley on the Beast Delighted Dons (from top): Skipper Barry Fuller; Fans celebrating the day; Dave Bassett; Dannie Bulman. Main: Adebayo Akinfenwa scores the penalty and celebrates the victory Pictures: Staph Ousellam
  4. 4. Winner: Darcey O’Shea Darcey’s great five gong game HERCULES Wimbledon youngster Darcey O’Shea won five gold medals at an open meeting for independent schools last weekend – even though she had never trained in one of the events, writes Tom Pollak. The Year 6 pupil from The Study Preparatory School, in Wimbledon Village, won individual gold in the 100m, 400m, high jump and long jump at the Thomas’s School athletics meeting in Battersea Park. She then went on to win a team gold in the sprint relay – which was enough to earn Darcey the trophy for the best individual girl athlete for the second successive year. However, mum Stella said: “Darcey does not normally do the long jump and has never had any practice or training in that event. “She was only asked to do it as one of her team-mates, who normally does it, was ill and could not attend.” She added: “They were only allowed two jumps. Her second was 4.24m, which not only won the event, but also broke the Independent Association of Prep Schools National record, which had been 4.10m.” Meanwhile, Hercules Wimbledon will be represented at the World Duathlon Championships this weekend. Gina Galbraith, Simon Bodle, Charles Hampden- Smith and Richard Evans will be flying the flag in Aviles in Spain. PLAYING AWAY: The biggest ever parkrun took place in South Africa last Saturday, with more than 1,800 running the 5k route at North Beach in Durban – and seven Wimbledon Windmilers took part. The following day, five of them ran Comrades, a 56-mile ultra-marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. Bronwyn Mayo, above right, clocked nine hours 39 min- utes 42 seconds, followed by Sophie Russell (9:50:47), Ella Waddingham (9:53:15), Lisa Wood, above left, (10:22:56) and Bernadette Maher Allan, above centre, (10:45:37). KEEPING PACE: Wimble- don CC remain just in touch with the early leaders of the Surrey Championship Premier Division thanks to a 67-run home win over East Molesey on Saturday. After electing to bat, Wimbledon’s Max Fernie (58 not out) top-scored as the hosts carded 262-7 off their allotted 50 overs. A tight bowl- ing attack, including figures of 4-34 off 10 overs from Robbie Gunn, always had Wimbledon on the front foot and their guests were all out in the 49th over on 195. Wimbledon go to Guildford this weekend. In T20 action, Wimbledon’s 27- run win over Hampton Wick Royal last week ensured safe passage to round three of the Surrey Championship knock- out competition, where they will face Old Rutlishians. NEW FEELING: Old Rutlishi- ans succumbed to their first defeat in Division One, going down by 51 runs at Malden Wanderers on Saturday. The hosts’ Pete Young was the thorn in the Old Boys’ side, hitting an unbeaten 137 as Wanderers carded 271-4. In reply, Old Ruts finished on 220 all out in the 45th over. They host Walton-on-Thames this weekend. ROCK BOTTOM: Spencer remain bottom of the Division One table after defeat at fellow strugglers Chipstead Coulsdon & Walcountians. After electing to bat, Spen- cer’s Saqib Malik top-scored on 42 off 76 balls as they struggled to 170 before being knocked over in the 45th over. There was little in the Spencer bowling attack to worry the hosts and only one wicket fell as Chipstead ticked off the runs in the 30th over. Spencer host Malden Wanderers this weekend. For the latest sporting news, check out our YLG Sport facebook page SPORTSbrief Sportyourlocalguardian.co.uk/sport REPORTER TIM ASHTON tim.ashton@ london.newsquest.co.uk DARIUS Charles is one of four players who have com- mitted themselves to League One’s newest side – and given his love for his teammates, it is no wonder. Dannie Bulman, Barry Fuller and George Francomb have also signed on the dotted line while Callum Kennedy, Sean Rigg and Adebayo Ak- infenwa have left the League Two play-off champions. Central defender Charles joined AFC Wimbledon on loan from Burton Albion in March and forged a solid partnership with Paul Robin- son at the back. In 12 games with the duo at the heart of the defence, the Dons have conceded just sev- en goals – playing a key role in getting to Wembley. However, the 28-year-old hailed his teammates’ work ethic from the opening game of the season. “The play-off final was not won today, it was won at the start of the season with all the work the lads have put in,” he said. “I have been on loan here for three months, and I am in- spired every day by the boys at the club. “The work they put in is unlike anything I have seen before.” He added: “These games are never won on the day. There is a reason why, at the end of a long season, people can push and give that little bit extra to win the play-off games with all the emotions running round, so I would say the game was won on Au- gust 8.” Goals from Lyle Taylor and the departing Akinfenwa from the penalty spot saw off Plymouth Argyle at Wemb- ley to spark wild celebrations among the Dons fans. Charles said: “I am emo- tionally and mentally knack- PLAY-OFF CHAMPIONS: Defender Charles hails season-long campaigners Inspired by Dons’ spirit ered, but the rewards are well worth it.” Ardley told Dons Player: “Darius has been immense. Before extra-time at Accring- ton I did not need to do a team talk because Darius did it for me and this is a guy who just does not want to lose, that transmits to the rest of the team. “I still don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. He has still had problems after suffering a broken leg last year, but if he’s only at 80 per cent I would love to see him at 100 per cent.” The departing Kennedy said: “My contract is up and the gaffer thought it was time to go separate ways, I respect that. I’ve had a great season and what better way to go out. “[Jon] Meades has had an unbelievable season, and while you never want to lose your place, if I was going to lose it to anyone, I would want it to be him.” For more reaction go to wimbledonguardian.co.uk/ sport. Calm before the storm: Darius Charles, above left, with Andy Barcham, takes in Wembley prior to kick-off, and, left, Callum Kennedy had an assist in the opening goal against Plymouth Argyle in his last game for AFC Wimbledon Look what I’ve got: Neal Ardley, above, with the League Two play-off final trophy after Monday’s 2-0 win over Plymouth Argyle at Wembley, and, below, Jon Meades demonstrates the team spirit that was key in Darius Charles’ decision to commit himself to the club All pics: Staph Ousellam pages 34-35 THE PROMISED LAND INSIDE: HOW AFC WIMBLEDON’S WEMBLEY DREAM CAME TRUE

Views

Total views

158

On Slideshare

0

From embeds

0

Number of embeds

0

Actions

Downloads

1

Shares

0

Comments

0

Likes

0

×