Daily Archives: May 24, 2011

News Round-Up 24/5/11 – Brown Cuts Five

Ignoring the fact three posts within 24 hours is normally newsworthy enough as far as the Anonymous Don is concerned, today has seen Terry Brown announce five players have been released…. and there were a couple of shocks. The trio of strikers were not a surprise, Jon Main’s departure has been an open secret for weeks now, but Yakubu and Harris leaving stunned me a little.

It always seems a little harsh cutting players who have played a huge part in our promotion almost before the champagne corks have hit the floor, but that’s football. Yakubu seems to have been a victim of his injuries, and Harris eventually lost a season long war with Fraser Franks to decide which talented youngster would prevail, but I personally though Brown would give all five centre halves their chance – at least for next season.

Not for the first time, Brown has surprised me, but going on previous experience we should expect to see a couple of exciting replacements coming through the Kingsmeadow door over the next two weeks.

It goes without saying I wish Delano Sam-Yorke, Mark Nwokeji, the legend that is Jon Main, Ed Harris and Ismail Yakubu all the best for the future, and I will be recognising their contribution to the Dons in the coming weeks.

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11/12

Accrington Stanley. Port Vale. Hereford United. Northampton Town. Gillingham. Cheltenham Town. For most football fans names like these probably bring mental images of grim Tuesday nights in February, but for us Dons fans… at the moment those places are as glamorous as Barcelona or Milan.

And how many of you are looking towards the League Cup, bearing in mind our First Round game will be our second fixture of the season? The draw might be reshuffled slightly due to one, possibly two Championship clubs playing in the Europa League next term (Blackpool and Fulham find out which of them has scooped the Fair Play place on Thursday…), but if previous years are anything to go by, we could find ourselves travelling to West Ham, Palace, Charlton…

And what of the Johnsons Paint Trophy? I have to admit I’m looking forward to our participation in this competition, as it symbolizes our ascent to the Football League – of course, prior to our first game in it I’ll be slagging it off with the rest of you, although if we have to have this sort of competition and on the night format with penalties at the end of ninety minutes is the way to go about it… and a trip to Wembley at the end of the rainbow (Surrey Senior Cup this is not)…

With next season in mind, here’s a brief club-by-club guide to the sides we’ll face next season;

Accrington Stanley – Could be one of the few clubs with a smaller budget than ours next term. Winning a play-off place this term will give TB an idea of what can be achieved…

Aldershot Town – A tasty derby, of sorts. TB will be a big hit with the opposition fans, their manager on the other hand will get a not-so-great reception…

Barnet – Former Southern League rivals meet in the Football League for the first time. One manager with ex-Dons connections has recently taken over from another, as the Mexican relieves caretaker manager Grazioli, a BIG hit at KM…

Bradford City – Saw Peter Jackson at Eastlands on Saturday. Apart from that, what goes around, comes around.

Bristol Rovers – That M4’s gonna be seeing a lot of us Dons fans next season…

Burton Albion – It’s a new ground for us, I suppose…

Cheltenham Town – Another former Southern League rival. Popular ex-Dons striker (and future Dons manager – I had a dream once…) Steve Cotterill is a Cheltenham legend, cutting his managerial teeth and guiding them into the league… which will give us something to talk to them about in the bars before the game…

Crawley Town – Ugh…

Crewe Alexandra – Another manager with Dons links, I wonder how different history would have been had Dario hung around in SW London. Made a donation to the Dons in 2002, so guaranteed a warm welcome next term.

Dagenham & Redbridge – Long overdue another merger of some kind, so let’s make the most of the trip while we can.

Gillingham – Rejected Danny Kedwell as a kid. Big mistake.

Hereford United – Were the visitors when Kingsmeadow first hosted a Conference game, losing to the K’s on the opening day of the 1998/9 season.

Macclesfield Town – Appear alongside the Dons in the ‘Cult Clubs’ section of the Rough Guide book ‘Cult Football’… upon our arrival in the Conference this blog endeared itself to the Altrincham support by inadvertently labelling their ground as ‘Moss Rose’ (home to rivals Macclesfield) with hilarious consequences…

Morecambe – Longest trip of the season. Guaranteed to be a Tuesday in February.

Northampton Town – Don’t like the Buckinghamshire Franchise almost as much as us, due to the strong suspicion a large percentage of their support used to follow the Cobblers. Are therefore alright as far as I’m concerned…

Oxford United – Hope we get to visit on a Saturday this time round.

Plymouth Argyle – I went to University in Plymouth, so our trip down there is absolutely guaranteed to be an evening game.

Port Vale – Big away end, first game please!

Rotherham United – Here’s hoping their temporary stint at Don Valley ends soon, in the mean time it does afford me the chance to visit a ground I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Shrewsbury Town – We all still remember that FA Cup defeat in the early ’90’s

Southend United – In Essex. A county Dons fans just can get enough of…

Swindon Town – John Fashanu from the half way line.

Stevenage/Torquay United – January in Stevenage or August in Torquay?

A fuller guide to L2 will follow over the course of the summer…

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Speechless

Early on Sunday afternoon, at a Tesco Express in Armthorpe, I purchased a copy of the Non-League Paper to read the Dons match report for the last time.

The truth is it still hasn’t sunk in. I witnessed all 120 minutes of football at Eastlands on Saturday, as well as each of the ten penalties that decided the Dons fate, and yet I still frequently feel the need to rewatch footage of the day…

What hasn’t helped me achieve my aim of a coherent description of the days events had been the mother of all colds I developed twenty-four hours after the final whistle. I know the body’s immune system is particularly vulnerable when under stress, we’ve all been subjected to that over the last couple of weeks, be it waiting for tickets, sorting transport or just finding the money to make it to our biggest game in ages… I’d imagine I’m not the only one confined to bed right now, even if the majority of you are nursing sore heads for alcohol related reasons…

Being tucked up in bed with my notebook has given a couple of weeks worth of articles relating to past, present and future, but the words still won’t come to describe the 120 minutes and ten penalties that took us back to the Football League. When I close my eyes, I see a linesman’s flag cutting short celebrations, time standing still as Luton hit the inside of the post, the Dons being the width of an upright away from winning it in extra time. In fact, I was convinced we had blown our chance as we prepared for the shootout, even more so when Mo missed (shoot outs have a habit of swinging back and forth). How appropriate it should be Kedwell stepping up to send the Dons into the Football League.

Of course, I briefly felt sorry for Luton Town. They, like us, have been accused of arrogance by those small-minded Non-League supporters jealous of a club with the sort of size and potential they could only dream of. Luton will go up next season, if there is any justice, but we deserved this… we served nine long, hard years in non-league football, we didn’t deserve one of them. Now we find ourselves heading for League Two, one chapter of the Wimbledon story closed, another just about to begin…

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