By Tony Alvarez
Following Saturday’s nerve wrecking victory with a penalty shoot out win over Luton after the clubs played out a 0-0 draw atManchesterCity’s Eastland ground AFC Wimbledon will be in the Football League next season.
The club who were famously formed in 2002 after Wimbledon FC moved to Milton Keynes and were renamed the MK Dons had finished 2nd in the league table and have now confirmed their promotion along with Blue sq championsCrawleyTown.
As you can imagine for a club that is only 9 years old this is the defining moment in their history to date, however the club do boast Footballing records, they went 78 consecutive matches unbeaten which is a record for a senior Football side in England.
Of course Shouts from the stands offer our congratulations to the club and it is brilliant to see what real fans can achieve when they put their minds together and work in unity. But that’s not really what this article is about its about where AFC can go from here.
Things bode well for the future the gap between the Blue sq Premier and Football League 2 is not the greatest, as can be shown by Stevenage’s success this season finishing 6th and Oxford who finished 12th, in fact a former conference player said to me the year his side were promoted to the Football League “ The gap isn’t major we wont be battling for our lives I wouldn’t be surprised if we make the play offs, there is more Football played in the League which makes it better to watch and look like the quality of the teams are better but it does not make it much harder to play against”.
The club who have kept the name “the crazy gang” going from the former club Wimbledon FC also have some Football League pedigree amongst their playing squad. Defender Ismail Yakubu spent 9 years at Barnet of which most was in the Football League as well as Yakubu the club also have players such as Kirk Hudson who is on loan from Brentford after spending 2 years in League two at Aldershot Town, his loan spell is widely expected to be made permanent as he is no longer in the managers plans at Brentford.
They also have defender Brett Johnson who has had spells in the Football League with bothNorthamptonand Brentford.
On top of the above players who have a good amount of Football League experience and others the club also boast a huge fan base which in turn has left the club in a good financial position should they feel the need to bolster their squad ahead of their maiden Football League campaign.
Of course there are negatives or new experience for the side too manager Terry Brown has never risen above the conference or Blue Sq Premier so League Football is a new experience for him, does he have the tactical ability in the higher divisions only time will tell.
I expect a comfortable season for AFC they wont be in danger of relegation but I don’t think they will be involved in a title race, however with a bit of luck they could push for a play off spot and from their anything could happen, of course this is all dependant on how much money the club spend as a few signings could significantly change the look of the side and the way the side performs.
What do you think? Have you even started thinking about the Football League yet or are you still revelling in yesterday’s success? Will you be able to keep your head above water in League 2? Is Terry Brown the man to take you forward? What areas do you need to strengthen to be successful? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.