This Saturday, The Young Exiles take on AFC Wimbledon in their opening game in the EFL Merit League 2; Byron Anthony’s side will be looking to bounce back after being knocked out of the FAW Youth Cup against Swansea City two weeks ago.
Surprisingly, the Young Exiles have only played AFC Wimbledon once since joining the EFL Youth Alliance. The last meeting between the two sides was on Friday, 27th February 2015; just like the upcoming match, it was County’s opening game of their Merit League 2 campaign.
Byron Anthony’s U18s won’t want a repeat of the last time the two sides faced off, as County lost 1-0 in a home fixture.
Wimbledon’s Last Five Fixtures
Wimbledon have been in brilliant form recently, winning three out of their last five matches, meaning that they picked up ten points from a possible fifteen in their last five games.
Despite this, the Dons narrowly missed out on a top half finish in the Youth Alliance South East. Wimbledon finished the league level on points with Luton Town, but a superior goal difference meant the Hatters finished in 6th place at the expense of Wimbledon.
Saturday’s match will be the first time in 2018 that Wimbledon play a match away from home, but they go into the game on the back of a 2-1 win against Leyton Orient. The Dons have only lost one match in 2018, which was a 2-1 defeat against MK Dons on January 13th.
Academy Manager – Jeremy Sauer
Jeremy oversees all aspects of the academy from the ages of U7s to U21s, he has been the Academy Manager at Wimbledon since February 2014, but has worked for the London-based club since 2008. Sauer previously worked at Crystal Palace as a Foundation Phase Coach.
Professional Phase Coach – James Oliver-Pearce
James joined the Dons as a Professional Phase Coach in 2014, he currently holds a UEFA B License and is assistant coach of the U18 Side. Oliver-Pearce also has completed FA Youth modules 1, 2 and 3.
Head of Goalkeeping – Jordan Knight
Knight joined AFC Wimbledon in 2014, but also holds roles within Chelsea Football Club as a goalkeeping coach within the EDP (Elite Development Phase) for Chelsea Ladies and is also an International Foundation Goalkeeping Coach. He currently holds a FA Goalkeeping B License, and has completed the FA Youth modules 1, 2 and 3.
Head of Football – Mark Robinson
Robinson is currently the U18 Manager and Head of Football at AFC Wimbledon, and has occupied that role for over 11 years.
Ahead of the game, Academy Manager Byron Anthony said that his players had had a good week of training “All the players have trained well this week, and we look forward to Saturday’s game confident of getting a good result.”
The match will take place at Lliswerry School, with the game kicking off at 11:30.
If you can, come down to support the Young Exiles against the Dons, as they look to pick up a vital three points in their opening EFL Merit League 2 fixture.
Postcode – Lliswerry School (NP19 4RP)
Follow Along You can follow match updates on the official academy Twitter @Youth_County, which will keep you updated with live updates from Lliswerry School as the Young Exiles look to start their Merit League 2 campaign with a win!
Good Luck, Boys!