The General Specific (Monday 22nd June ’09)

Well, that was a quiet weekend wasn’t it?

No Dons news of note over Saturday and Sunday, not even any scurrilous rumours. I would have started some but I was too busy sorting through my old football programmes. Obviously my Dons collection is sacrosanct (especially my mint copy of the ’63 Amateur Cup Final), however I have picked up a number of others over the years, FA Cup Finals and England games from the 60’s and 70’s, notably a complete set of Arsenal programmes 70/71 including the away game at Spurs and the cup final. I was going to get rid of them by flogging them to a dealer for beer money, until I decided to check a couple of valuations.

Well it turns out when my mate went to the 1993 FA Cup Final replay and asked if I wanted a programme I was right to say ‘yes’ as apparently its now extremely rare and quoted by some dealers at £125! ‘Bloody hell!’ thought the Anonymous Don, who is now working out how he can exploit his goodwill in the form of a spare-time mail order style business, probably on E-bay…

That will mean I will have less and less time for the blog… no, hang on, sorry… that will mean I will have less and less time for the wife (a good thing as far as she is concerned). Naturally when I get it all together I’ll link to it from here, just in case you have always wanted a 1969 England v France programme or the 1986 Topical Times Football Annual (crossword completed)…

As Monday crept up on us while we were dozing on our sofas, the press were gearing up to burst back into life. Which means I do have some Dons News to report. Our Tel has returned from his holidays red-in-face and ready to one-up Stuart Cash’s comment in the Informer last week that we will be signing two players. In fact he two-upped it, by revealing he is targeting a further four new faces (I’m not sure why that bit was in bold, I think I’m turning a bit tabloid…). He’s named his targets, in an ideal world, as;

  • A young goalkeeper
  • A left-sided central defender
  • Another midfielder
  • An extra striker

I don’t want to dwell too much on the Wellard transfer right now, suffice to say he’s probably the midfielder. That left sided central defender could spell big trouble for Ben Judge, who filled that position last season, but more likely Alan Inns. A new goalkeeper will pretty much consign Andy Little to the Dons scrapheap, and as we found out last season you just cannot have enough strikers.

I really think the signings of Hussey and Hatton are key, both players still have a lot to prove, but were up for the challenge last season. Plus Hatton has probably got used to being abused every time he goes near the ball, and might take a bit of the crowds flack off some of the younger players coming in. I imagine most of the boneheads who find themselves sharing a terrace with normal folk like me in the John Smith Stand next season are already salivating at the prospect of telling a number of teenagers they aren’t fit to wear the shirt next year.

I think most of you had already worked out I am a huge admirer of Sam Hatton, and this term he will face a career defining challenge not just getting up to speed with Conference Premier football, but just getting into the side. In fact, try not to think of the players we will have on the pitch next season, think of the quality we are going to have on the bench, or not even in the squad… this season is going to be absolutely fascinating.

The news that Terry intends to ‘experiment’ in the forthcoming friendlies doesn’t really fill me with enthusiasm, but to be honest I wouldn’t have expected otherwise. He’s hardly likely to demand results is he? I predict pre-season will be as crap as it was last year, in fact as crap as its been every other year except that glorious first AFC Wimbledon season. For the manager pre-season allows him to experiment and take a look at certain players in certain situations, for players they gain match fitness and get to show the manager what they can really do in a game situation.

For us supporters, we get to realise just how much better actual competitive games are, and in the early games just how far away that first day really is. I suppose the only people who actually get something out of them on the terraces are webmasters and bloggers like myself, starved of any match action to commentate on during the barren months to the point I find myself writing a news article based on the manager telling the papers he might be signing some new players…

…And he might not. I put those key word, ‘in an ideal world’ in italics for a reason. It’s likely, but we shall have to wait and see how it does pan out. There are plenty of players knocking about without contracts, I’m sure we will see a fair few triallists in the friendlies for both the senior team and reserves, and I know an experienced manager like Terry will not see his squad finalised until the transfer window closes.

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