Tag Archives: Jack Midson

The Anonymous Don’s Summer Squad Preview Part IV – Forwards

Just when you thought I’d forgotten… ok, I actually had forgotten. With no Kedwell and no Mo the front line is looking very different to last season, but the delay in previewing has already seen a promising start…


I’ll admit to being a little confused by Charlie Boy’s arrival… surely not a replacement for Kedwell, maybe someone to give us more options from the bench after Mo’s departure… but it turned out Charlie Ademeno is looking like becoming a more than decent player in his own right. Not that we should have expected any different – remembering Grimsby fans commenting on the move, none of them questioned his ability, they just seemed a little miffed they didn’t see more of him on the pitch due to his injury records.

The length of time he spent on the sidelines went a long way to ensuring Grimsby allowed him to leave half way through a two-year contract, this a player they paid a five-figure sum for less than a year earlier. It also means Charlie has a contract built towards protecting the club should he spend most of the season on the treatment table, and means should he stay free of injury and score goals for us, TB might just have picked up the League Two bargain of the season.

While not the biggest forward, he uses his enormous strength to protect the ball and hold possession and bring others into play… which is the one aspect of Kedwell’s game I thought we would have most difficulty replacing. Unlike Kedwell, I’m not sure Charlie will be the most prolific of forwards, but that’s just going on his previous record – if he starts scoring on top of that it’ll be a nice bonus.


Is he a forward, is he a winger, or is he a full back? Well, to be honest we probably won’t see him very much in any of those positions this term, having fallen out of favour after a spell of indifferent form at the start of the year, allowing TB to bring Luke Moore back into the starting lineup. Yet although the O/S lists him as a defender, we’ve seen far more of him in an attacking role at first team level.

It’s a big season for Ryan, stepping up to the Football League. On his game last season his pace and direct running made him a handful for any Conference defence… the problem being when not performing to those levels he became a bit of a passenger. He hasn’t come close to getting game time in our early fixtures, which is a worry… I hate writing off young players, but I have to admit Ryan is one who I can’t see being with us this time next year.


The newest of the bunch, by all accounts a forward with plenty of pace and promise. Experience further up the leagues with Crystal Palace gives him a head start over some of our other younger forwards, the only slight worry being sometimes dropping down the divisions signals the beginning of a career slide for young players. Alternatively taking a step back is sometimes the only way to take two forwards, and if Djilali puts in even half the effort he did on his debut (still not fully fit, remember…) he won’t have any worries on the career front. We only have about an hour of football to judge him on so far, so I won’t, what I will say is his arrival gives us options…


Having already made the step up from county football to Ryman in a season, then from Ryman to Conference Premier a year later, Christian Jolley now finds himself playing in the Football League. Given the steep career curve Jolley has taken, an outside observer might expect him to suffer in the same manner Ryan Jackson is… in other words struggle for a contract next season.

But no… Christian has continued where he left off at the end of last season – not starting games, admittedly, but causing chaos and frightening the life out of League Two defenses as an impact substitute. Jolley has become something of a fan favourite thanks to his pacy, direct game, and we shouldn’t discount him having a run of starts (and hopefully goals) at some stage during the campaign.

And yet he is still young and inexperienced… still learning lessons. He will be inconsistent – one minute unplayable, the next fans forgetting he was even on the field. But once he gets over that, we could end up with some player on our hands…


With Kedwell having departed, I think a few of us were hoping Jack Midson would be the new Danny Kedwell, but have been proved wrong just a couple of weeks into the new season… it turns out Jack Midson is doing just fine being Jack Midson, and us Dons could find ourselves better off for it.

I can see Midson being as much of a hit with Wimbledon supporters as Kedwell was. We can already see for ourselves the qualities he’ll bring to the side… An eye for goal speaks for itself with four goals already, but bravery? Staples in a head wound that would have put lesser players out of the game at Dagenham. Plus we are already seeing plenty of positive comments praising his high work rate – Dons fans would forgive him for not being the twenty goal a season hitman if his hard work creates goals for other players.


I’ve always been a big fan of Luke, a tricky and intelligent forward who gets his fair share of goals but creates so much more for others. In fact I mentioned at the start of the campaign this could be a career season for Luke, providing he steers clear of injury. And what a start he made, showing everyone just what he is capable with a mazy run and finish at Crawley.

His goal tally might be boosted a little by the fact he appears to be our penalty taker this term, perhaps thanks to his nerveless penalty at Eastlands. Looks best when positioned behind a front two, like all our forwards he actually does an awful lot of work tracking back, not afraid to put in a challenge or two to win the ball back – definitely a Terry Brown player, a key member of the squad and the sort of player who, if he sticks around, will come in very handy if we find ourselves pushing for promotion in a couple of years time.

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AFC Wimbledon 3 Port Vale 2 3/9/11 – A Match Report

Sometimes you’re better off not worrying about post-game analysis and just marvel at the game of football you’ve just watched, and yesterdays game falls easily into that category. I’d actually go further and nominate it as one of the best games we’ve seen in the AFC era. We’ve seen some outstanding entertainment over the years, the 5-4 victory over Walton Casuals in the CCL Cup, Horsham in the First Ryman One season, last seasons victory at Eastbourne to name just three – but pound for pound, considering the level of football, yesterday’s game might just trump them all.

As with many high scoring epics, the entertainment levels were partly down to a clash of failings rather than anything… this was the Dons wet tissue defense and frequently absent midfield up against a Port Vale side that started like a train but flagged badly towards the end, whose ability to create chances at will was sadly balanced against their profligacy in front of goal.

We’ve all watched football long enough to know a Dons victory was written in stone as soon as Vale had their umpteenth effort cleared off the line or struck woodwork, we’ve seen it happen to the Dons enough time over the years… And if it wasn’t enough that our debut forward, who wouldn’t have started had Charlie Ademeno not been injured in the warm up, then went on to win the penalty for our opening goal; we then watch as a player who wasn’t even in the squad to start with – who wouldn’t even have been named on the bench had Port Vale not given their approval for the team sheet to be changed – comes off the bench and grabs the winner deep into stoppage time.

After last weeks dire performance at Macclesfield, there was much talk of hard work on the training ground to ensure there wouldn’t be a repeat performance this week, but judging by the first twenty minutes or so you would have thought the squad had taken a week off training altogether… Ok, I know the injury to Ademeno in the warm up meant a slight change in formation, and this probably threw them slightly, but these are still professionals, they should still be capable of adapting at short notice.

The Dons defensive deficiencies detracts slightly from some of Port Vale’s irresistible forward play in the first half, not too many League Two defences would have an answer for some of those moves. In fact our two full backs deserve credit for their heroics on the line, both Hatton and Gwillim preventing certain goals in what was an opening period where last-ditch defending kept Wimbledon in the contest.

I won’t go into detail over what happened… if you didn’t see the Football League Show last night the extended highlights on the BBC website tomorrow should do you, if not the OS report is always more detailed than mine ever are. A few comments thought…

Firstly, our performance yesterday and so far this season, coupled with TB’s post match remarks, reveal our defensive problems won’t be solved overnight, so we’ll have to get used to either winning games 3-2 or losing 0-4 for the next couple of months or so. To be fair, we can’t possibly get much worse than we were yesterday, but I can see the Dons becoming a neutrals favourite this season… there will be goals at either end, and plenty of them.

Under those circumstances it’s fortunate we’re scoring goals, and a great deal of credit must go to Jack Midson for that. After the start he’s had at the club, dare we believe he might actually be better than Kedwell? He’s certainly had a decent start that’s for sure, and is the sort of player who just won’t go wrong as far as either the fans or TB is concerned. His work rate and determination is just unreal, one example of this was seeing him chase down a ball he seemed to have no chance of winning, getting a block in, then getting up and winning a footrace to the loose ball to create an oportunity out of nothing.

On top of this the five goals he’s chipped in almost seems like a bonus. His finish yesterday was an example of his eye for goal, easy in one respect with the keeper getting up following his penalty save, but it bounced awkwardly and Midson had to get over the top of it to avoid ballooning it over. We can only hope he continues both form, you get the impression if he can keep up those levels of work rate the goals will follow naturally.

New signing Kieran Djilali had a decent debut, its good to see someone willing to get the ball down and run at defences. He showed great composure to win the penalty, we’ve seen Dons players get in that sort of position only for them to shoot and either miss or their effort is smothered, Djilali did well to take it round the keeper knowing he was going to bring him down. A little early in the day to tell just how good he’s going to be but so far, so good.

The arrival of Christian Jolley at half time swung the game in our favour. We might be better off telling him he’s not going to play every week, this was probably his best forty-five minutes in a Dons shirt. Again, we expect him to be a little inconsistent as a young player just beginning his League career, but as an impact substitute I don’t think there’ll be a defence in the division that could hold him on his day. He pretty much had the Port Vale left back on a leash as soon as he came on the pitch, could have made the game safe at 2-1 with another mazy run, and showed great composure with his finish – hard to believe it was his first League goal.

Jolley has come so far in such a short space of time it would have been understandable had he needed a little time to come to terms with the higher level, but he seems to have so much confidence in himself you wonder whether League Two will be enough for him… Having come so far in such a short space of time, who’s to say he won’t continue his astounding career progress and leave us behind in the not too distant future?

(Strange that after such a poor defensive display I chose to highlight forwards, but as I said at the start sometimes you’re better off not worrying!)

We saw some memorable scenes at the final whistle… this was the first time many Dons fans had seen their side win in the Football League, remember, and even for those of us who had it’s all a little new… plus you don’t want to start getting deep into September/October without winning at home, it creates unwanted psychological problems that we were all more than aware of.

Ten points in the bag despite still finding ourselves dogged by inconsistency means we probably won’t have any problems this season, and can afford a few defeats while TB searches for the answer to our defensive problems. Yet knowing in advance we’re going to take some hammerings, and actually having to watch them, are two different things. We have a big derby game coming up next week against opponents we have bust a gut to chase up the pyramid, how sickening now we’ve caught them and play them as equals would it be if they thumped us?

Derby games are different animals however, and with TB heading back to his former club for the first time he’ll want to use this free week ahead to ensure we’re at least competitive next week…

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News Round Up – 20/6/11

At last, the club feel they are in a position to reveal more information on pre-season games! I suppose we can’t blame the club, they have a policy of announcing fixtures only when contracts are received, mainly to avoid ‘games that never were’, such as the Leyton Orient game announced on their website… and subsequently cancelled. Having said that, couldn’t someone at the club have posted a short notice, along the lines of ‘we know you have all waited to hear news on pre-season games, but we can’t announce them yet and this is why…’?

With the first game (which was planned to be a home fixture) being delayed, the club were able to advise we would travel to a local rival on Tuesday 12th. Although unnamed at the time Sutton United have since announced the fixture on their website (whilst there I also noticed they are playing a two-legged pre-season fixture with Carshalton and it got me wondering whether we should arrange our own with Kingstonian… no?).

A League side has been lined up to replace Leyton Orient on the 16th, with Beckenham on the Tuesday after and a trip to Kevin Cooper II’s Bedfont Town. Saturday 23rd sees the visit of Watford, as previously planned, with Tooting to follow on 26th, before the Crawley game kicks things off. All in, with a couple of League sides (sorry… fellow League sides…) and a smattering of local non-league rivals, a decent enough preparation for our first season in the League. Under the circumstances we probably just about got away with it…

We are, I suppose, fortunate that the body of last seasons squad is still in place, so we don’t need vast amounts of game time to gel. I was going to describe TB’s summer squad sculpting as ‘cosmetic’, but that probably doesn’t apply in a situation where our best XI has effectively had its head chopped off with Kedwells bombshell. You can add one of the shoulders to that, now Kaid Mohamed has decided to take an offer closer to home and joined Cheltenham.

I have to say the loss of Mohamed hasn’t really hit me in the same way as Kedwell’s announcement did. I think he is talented, don’t get me wrong, but I think last season’s Wimbledon side really played to his strengths. It would have been nice to see whether he can kick on and finally make the breakthrough in League football, but it’s not to be. I get the impression finding a replacement for him might not be as difficult as rooting out the man to step into our former skippers boots…

As for Kedwell, well we might have held out hope that circumstance might lead to him staying but WHAK seems to have put paid to that thought. With news that there are ‘several’ clubs interested, there is a chance this might be resolved quicker than I feared, and for decent reward. The more money the club can squeeze out of Kedwell, the more funds available for his replacement… and lets not forget, Kedwell’s current contract wouldn’t exactly have been peanuts.

You may have seen in last weeks news update I linked to the blog Jack Midson is currently writing for The 72. Now he has signed for the Dons, Midson gives his side of the story in his latest blog. Interesting that Wrexham were able to offer a much better deal than we were, I can only imagine the money Andy Mangan must have been on, indeed how much Fleetwood must have offered to lure him there. No wonder Kedwell is so keen to get away. Nonetheless, I’m feeling pretty grateful that Midson came to us under the circumstances…

Finally, the ongoing blog makeover continues, with the features now in their own index for easy reference. Like the links section, this is an ongoing project… I’ve been looking around some of the other bloggers in League Two, and the bar has definitely been raised….

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Danny And Jack

I’m sure most of us woke this morning expecting Fixtures Friday to be the biggest news story of the day, only for that to be hijacked by confirmation Jack Midson has signed. I think we needed a little boost following Wednesdays shocker, and it seems likely considering TB has been chasing Midson for a while this was considered a move to bolster the forward line rather than as a direct replacement. Still, his arrival means if we have seen the last of Keds at least Brown shouldn’t feel the need to rush his decision on a replacement.

Midson could be a decent enough signing. He seems well liked at his former club Oxford, judging by the amount of good luck tweets he’s received from them, although as I mentioned the other day, it’s quite easy to wish well to those who didn’t quite make the grade. You may have checked his goalscoring record at his previous clubs, and admittedly he hasn’t been exactly prolific anywhere, even Histon, but to be honest I always have faith in Terry’s summer signings. He’ll have watched him several times, possibly having Cash or Bassey with him for a second opinion, on top of extensive scouting reports… picking up the sort of information you just don’t get on Wikipedia.

In other words, he sees Midson as a decent fit. Not just TB either. We know Midson was attracting the interest of Cheltenham and Hereford, and we’ll never know what terms were offered or how serious the enquiry was, but ultimately he didn’t have to come to Wimbledon… but he chose to do so. I’ve already decided I like Jack Midson, from the small amount of information I know about him.

I like that he is a tennis coach in his spare time (I’ve always had a lot of respect for those who excel at multiple sports, probably because I’ve never managed to master any I’ve tried playing myself…). I like his blog, it shows a level of… intelligence, yes, but despite popular perception there are quite a few footballers more than capable of stringing a few words together – more it shows a love of the game, of his profession, and strong enough respect for those who follow the game to spend the time writing it all down. I even quite like the fact he seems to retweet everything remotely flattering written about him on Twitter.

So before he’s even kicked a ball in anger, before he’s even done the obligatory ‘this is a great club’ interview, he’s won my full support, and that’s probably half the battle. For those of you wondering, not all new signings get that kind of treatment. Admittedly most do, lets face it I think the majority of us were quite glad the Broughton experiment was a failure, but those of you with long enough memories will remember me urging Terry not to sign a young goalkeeper for fear his error strewn performances while on trial might have cost us should he ever be required for the first team. That goalkeeper was lifelong Dons fan and current Number One Seb Brown, from that day on I’ve learnt that Terry Knows Best (most of the time…).

From a striker coming to a striker going, and according to Sky Sports, the leading contenders for Keds signature are Crawley and Gillingham. This seemed so obvious even I managed to call it straight away (there’s always the off-chance they just lifted the news from this blog…), there have been a few rumours of certain Championships clubs sniffing around but lets face it, League One would be a surprise… Which brings us on to the delicate matter of the fee. I’ve seen some extraordinary sums mentioned, anything in the six figure upwards bracket falls into that category. Maybe if he started the season, had fifteen goals by Christmas and batted off speculation by having AFCW tattooed on his forehead… Personally I’ll consider we’ve done extremely well in getting £40,000 for him.

I’m sure most of us want this issue resolved as soon as possible, but then again I’m equally sure we’ll be seeing Keds hang around through pre-season, which could get a little awkward… guaranteed someone will boo him during one of the friendlies, before mysteriously (but ultimately unsurprisingly) he doesn’t appear in the squad for the Crawley game, and we find pictures of him in someone elses shirt plastered across the internet on the Monday morning…

The only positive to all of this is there’s still plenty of time for other stuff to happen this summer (we might even announce a friendly or two…). TB can afford to play the waiting game right now, with a couple of signings under his belt and last seasons squad under contract for next season… In the mean time we have our fixtures to look forward to, Bristol Rovers await…

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News Round-Up 11/6/11

Having waited a week for enough news to actually round-up, some of this might not exactly be news to any of you, but I’ll press on all the same. This is deep into holiday time, in a summer without a major tournament (although the U21 championship and Womens World Cup will hold my interest before pre-season).

I was actually planning on staying up late to watch my wife’s local team, New England Revolution, play their local derby at New York Red Bulls (a franchise not quite in the odious leagues of Them, but despicable enough thanks mainly to their owners activities in Salzburg…). Boston to New York is about the distance of London to Manchester, not really a derby in our meaning of the word, but a short hop for seasoned supporters in North America. The Revs were unable to add to a sweet week for New England teams over their New York counterparts going down 2-1, fortunately I fell asleep well before kick off.

The reason I mention this (apart from obvious filler in a slow news week) is had my plans to emigrate to NH earlier in the year not been scuppered by global financial meltdown, I would at very least have been settling down to watch the game on TV, possibly even joining the small band of Revs fans who boarded buses and made their way down I-95.

The cushion that softened the blow of not being able to relocate, and simultaneously having those relocation plans set back years, is that I was able to witness, and find myself blogging in what might turn out to be one of the most exciting periods to be a Dons fan. The Football League AGM in Cyprus this week saw the formality of the Dons membership of League Two confirmed, leaving behind the Conference… a division that just seems to get more and more mental with each passing year.

The so-called AGM Cup being played out this weekend at Celtic Manor, seeing the half-expected expulsion of Rushden, and subsequent reprieve of Southport. This further develops the northern imbalance of this division, and further southern imbalance of the level below – poor old Bishops Stortford now look like being forced into the BSN competing with the likes of Workington and Colwyn Bay. The fifth level of English football is increasingly becoming a headache; clubs throwing money at the two promotion places at the top sitting uneasily in what is the melting pot between the professional and semi-pro games, and as a farewell to the division I’ll be writing more about that later in the week.

Back to the Dons, with holidays coming to an end players are outlining their plans for the season ahead, and for those already signed up for next season, still floating on air presumably, talk from Jamie Stuart and Seb Brown is of challenging for another promotion. Us supporters will probably accept mid-table with a nice cup run thrown in, not that we were really expecting too much last season in what was meant to be a transitional season.

What has become apparent is TB won’t be rebuilding his squad again this summer, which will mean an extremely steep learning curve for some – I’m especially thinking of the likes of Christian Jolley, Ricky Wellard… younger players who were looking at two to three years in the Conference learning their trade before stepping up, and now find themselves in a sink or swim situation, at least as far as their Dons careers are concerned. Of course, if they are successful, they will be much better players for the experience.

Yet TB is still trying to supplement his squad for next season, and has confirmed his interest in one rumoured target. Jack Midson was spotted at the Fleetwood game, and we are fortunate his column over at The 72, The Not So Secret Footballer allows us a glimpse into Midsons personal circumstances. He certainly seems to have a few potential suitors, but appears to be keeping his feet on the ground. Still highly regarded by Oxford fans despite his release at the end of last season, if he comes to Wimbledon or elsewhere we can only hope he continues his blog, a readable insight into the life of a lower league footballer.

This week also saw confirmation that Jon Main will be returning to Tonbridge in the BSS next season, joining ex-Dons Lewis Taylor and Ben Judge. It goes without saying I wish him all the best next season, as many of you know I’d still rather gouge my eyes out than go down the road and pay to enter Beveree but if Tonbridge play there on a day the Dons don’t have a fixture, I may just be forced into a policy change…

Still no news on possible pre-season opponents beyond the three already named, either officially via the O/S, on other teams websites… even rumours are proving hard to come by. Still, a new WHAK is due any day now, and should prove a useful outlet for releasing further news.

Five days until the League Cup draw, six until fixtures are released…

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The General Specific (Wednesday 20th May ’09)

So I haven’t written a General Specific for a while, and I’m not going to go overboard on this one. Basically, there has been no news. But as we all know, no news is good news! Hurray! I’ve been working my fingers to the blogging bone recently, both here and on Control>Shoot, which I’ve managed to secure a regular readership for mainly due to a protest campaign which, while agreed with by the majority of those who read the blog, was sadly to trivial to spur them to actually sign the petition… Booooo! But on the plus side, I have the petition with the lowest views to signature ratio since ‘Save money by sending Rampton Inmates to look after sick kids’. Hurray!

Anyway now I’ve managed to fill out an opening paragraph with absolutely no Dons news (Hurray!… err… Booooo!), lets have a look at what’s in the papers this week. Well the SLP have come back with the remarkable news that Tom Davis is upset he got the chop, Tony Finn was just glad to have the chance to saunter around with his hands on his hips for a couple of seasons, and ex-Histon striker Jack Midson has ensured he will have to put up with several thousand Dons fans waving banknotes in his direction by turning down a Dons offer to sign for Oxford United instead…

Still no news on any other new signings, or pre-season games, and I’m starting to think the whole Isle of Man trip might turn out to be entirely fabricated a la Bradford Park Avenue in Spain last year. Expect a local waiter to bag a hat trick for us in the local 5-a-side centre and be bigged up as the legend he isn’t by the O/S…

Anyway I have spoiled you all slightly with my output over the last few weeks (some of which must have been at least quite interesting???), but I have some bad news…. unfortunately Mrs Anonymous Don has decided to return from her jaunt across the Atlantic (BOOOOOOOOOOO!) only about six weeks after I did but never mind, so for the next couple of weeks at least I may be expected to spend at least half of my spare time going on pointless walks, watching lame chick flicks, that kind of thing…

However I do get to make at least one suggestion of what to do this long weekend, so I have suggested we assist at the cleanup at Kingsmeadow. Amazingly she didn’t dismiss this out of hand, so hopefully an afternoon scrubbing graffiti off smelly urinals will learn her not to take extended holidays in future. As for me, well I deserve to put in a bit of graft to rebalance my Karma after chain-smoking my way through another season (I’ve given up now though, for two weeks, so give me a pat on the back…) and allowing some poor other chump to sweep them up. So if you’ve sat on your backside all season while someone else volunteers to clean up your crap, the least you could do is put a few hours graft in where it will be appreciated…

Full details on the O/S. So Ill see you there (possibly….). 

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