AFC Wimbledon v Fulham XI – A (Friendly) Match Preview

ffcSome of you have been moaning that it was only a ‘Fulham XI’ coming down, and to be fair ‘XI’ in this case means Young Reserve/Acadamy players, but I have to say it’s good to see any kind of Fulham side coming down to Kingsmeadow. Despite our close proximity to each other there has never been the same kind of rivalry as those built up with, say Crystal Palace, as Fulhams decline in fortunes coincided with our rise to the top flight, and vice versa.

Plus its one of those local relationships where like mine, families will be split between Dons and Fulham fans. As well as this they hate Chelsea even more than we do, and regularly get a chance to play, and beat them. I can only hope Fulham fans get the opportunity to celebrate those life-defining victories such as our 4-0, 5-2 and 4-2 wins at Stamford Bridge.

Back to their anticipated squad. It is Billy McKinlay, the Reserve team manager, who will be in charge of the squad that travels to Kingsmeadow. With Fulham starting their Europa League campaign on Saturday it is likely we will be seeing their younger players, yet this side still thumped Woking 4-1 last week, and for those of you thinking that’s probably not that difficult they beat League 2 Aldershot last Saturday. Those who are expecting a bunch of household names will be disappointed, but those expecting a bunch of wet behind the ears kids will also. In fact we could see one of our own future stars in action for the opposition…

On to ourselves. I think I laid down my opinions on the current situation in the FCUM preview, but I suppose a lot will depend on whether Callum Willock is still with us. Without him Peter Rapson will temporarily find himself promoted to a more important squad role, and the way he has played this pre-season if Willock didn’t turn up for training he can seriously start to prepare himself for being a squad member come August and could find himself on the bench a couple of times if Terry opts for Luke Moore behind the front two. We may be in for a longer wait for our much searched for target man. Has anyone got Danny Webb’s number?

How many of us bother turning up for this game remains to be seen. Will those coming down for Luton tickets bother staying for the game? Will the large contingent of New Malden based Fulham fans come down the road to see their reserves? I anticipate a decent game, like Wycombe and Brighton, the Fulham boys will be looking to keep the ball on the deck, just how our players like it. We needed the scrap FCUM gave us, and we’ll get another at Farnborough, but Luton are waiting just around the corner now…

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