AFC Wimbledon - Halfords Heroes? Season 1

ArladArlad
97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
edited February 12
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In a surprising turn of events, former Waterford defender Greg Halford has been unveiled as the new face of AFC Wimbledon. It's not known which other candidates were approached but the Wimbledon CEO Joe Palmer believes he picked the right man for the job.
"Halford is very determined and we are confident his leadership can bring the best out of the squad we currently have"
Halford joins almost 2 weeks into the preparations before the new season after former coach Mark Robinson joined Ipswich Town working with Kieran McKenna. The Dons have a hard road ahead of them coming up in the L1 season as they are rank favorites to be relegated back to L2. In his first interview Halford had this to share with us
"I can't make promises right now about where we will finish, I have some time now to take training sessions where I think I'll learn about our strengths and weaknesses and of course the players are going to learn about me, what I can promise is that I'll give it my all and I will leave no stones unturned in our bid to survive this season, I've spoken to the assistant already and met Joe, we both have a great idea about developing what we have so hopefully the fans get behind us!"

Steven a lifelong Dons fan had this to say on the dons message board
"Halford? A bit of a journeyman ain't he, I hope he stays because we need someone who will stay with us for a few seasons and not leave us in limbo"

Wimbledon's first game is away at Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, August 7th.

Episode Playlist
1- Ep1 Meet the Team

2- Ep2 Season Kicks Off
Post edited by ArladArlad on

Comments

  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    Long time no see :smile: welcome back, looking forward to see Wimbledon rising back up
  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    Great to see a road to glory campaign, perhaps rising up through the tiers. Had a soft spot for Wimbledon in the 1990's, especially because of Vinnie Jones. Interested to see where you take this one.
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited February 9
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    July Training
    Halford arrives early into the training camp, and immediately begins discussing all the routine week to week schedules with Ashley Bayes the Goalkeeping Coach, Robert Tuvey the 1st Team Coach and Tim Maynard the Physiotherapist.
    "Currently there are no first team injuries Greg, the players are in top condition and we'll get started with them on today's plans" says an excited Robert Tuvey.
    As the players run through their drills and time passes on Halford remarks that back up goalkeeper Zaki Oualah is only 5ft 11 which he considers to be small for a goalkeeper at this level. After training finishes the players are well spent and have given everything. Halford has been able to assess the players over the last 3 to 4 weeks and as we approach the end of the month the players are only 1 week away from the opening game in the L1 season.

    lets take a look at the AFC Wimbledon Squad as we begin S1
    GK Nikola Tzanev 64
    GK Zaki Oualah 58
    RB Henry Lawrence 62
    RB Cheye Alexander 62
    RB Isaac Ogundere 54
    LB Nesta Guiness-Walker 62
    LB Paul Osew 62
    CB Will Nightingale 65
    CB Ben Heneghan 64
    CB Paul Kalambayi 62
    CB Daniel Csoka 62
    CB Darius Charles 60
    CB Jack Madelin 52
    CDM Alex Woodyard 66
    CDM Anthony Hartigan 65
    CDM George Marsh 62
    CAM Jack Rudoni 65
    CAM Ayoub Asal 64
    CAM Luke McCormick 65
    CAM Ethan Chislett 61
    CAM Egli Kaya 57
    ST Ollie Palmer 64
    ST Aaron Pressley 61
    ST Dapo Mebude 60
    ST David Fisher 54
    ST Aaron Cosgrave 54
    ST Quaine Barley 50

    #FIFA22 #careermode #AFCWimbledon #greghalford #TheDons #fifacareermode
    Post edited by ArladArlad on
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited February 9
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    With the first match of the season coming up Halford has made arrangements for a couple of the fringe players to leave Wimbledon and go out on loan, in the very first week as suspected backup goalkeeper Zaki Oualah was sent to Wycombe on loan with an option to buy, then 1 week later Welsh CB Jack Madelin moved across the sea to Ireland to play for Derry City, it is understood no formal offer is made and it is just a loan for Jack to develop, and finally RB Isaac Ogundere has joined Walsall again to develop his football with no pre-contract agreed to make it permanent so we'll expect to check in next pre-season and see how Madelin and Ogundere have done when they return from their loan spells.

    #FIFA22 #careermode #AFCWimbledon #greghalford #TheDons #fifacareermode
    Post edited by ArladArlad on
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Great to see a road to glory campaign, perhaps rising up through the tiers. Had a soft spot for Wimbledon in the 1990's, especially because of Vinnie Jones. Interested to see where you take this one.

    Yes :-) truth be told I actually like their football strip especially since it looks pretty iconic now with FM being the sponsor LoL :D
    Long time no see :smile: welcome back, looking forward to see Wimbledon rising back up

    :) thanks for the welcome back, I might be a little slower going with this one. I did actually have plans to go back to Derby and even do an Oldham save but for some reason the latest title update didn't apply on the squad number and academy changes, it seemed to fix some of them but not all of them so decided to start fresh with Halford at Wimbledon.
  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    A lot of 19-22 year old's in your squad, as far as I can tell. Should be a good base for growing a side that could fight for promotion soon enough. Not a bad idea to loan out a few though, since you can't play them all to an extent, where their development won't be harmed.

    I get why you're starting over, I'm also planning to do that myself. I think I'll wait until the final January transfers have been updated though, and the promised real faces of Brighton, Brentford and Watford players etc. have been added as well.
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    A lot of 19-22 year old's in your squad, as far as I can tell. Should be a good base for growing a side that could fight for promotion soon enough. Not a bad idea to loan out a few though, since you can't play them all to an extent, where their development won't be harmed.

    I get why you're starting over, I'm also planning to do that myself. I think I'll wait until the final January transfers have been updated though, and the promised real faces of Brighton, Brentford and Watford players etc. have been added as well.

    thanks buddy :) I think I am going to put this on my channel as per similar the Derby stuff, I might not be able to Cam simply because of time constraints but I can probably do audio overs each highlights. I will probably also provide match updates in here for those who cannot make it over to the channel proper. B)
    I've actually had a super busy week with sales and family commitments as well as getting over manflu so there has been a brief delay in launching this series. I appreciate your support, This should be launching soon.
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    After sending Zaki Oualah to Wycombe on a Loan to Buy, Halford moved for Experience. It was rumored at first the Dons were going for Harry Burgoyne from Shrewsbury but were put off by a large asking price for sign on fees, so they turned to Canadian shot stopper Jayson Leutwiler, a travelled experienced Goalie who has played for Shrewsbury, Blackburn Rovers, Fleetwood and more recently Oldham Athletic, with Daniel Rogers preferred in goal more recently at the back end of last year for the Latics Leutwiler is a solid addition to Halfords team and makes the switch to Wimbledon.

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    Next Wimbledon executed a good bit of business with Swindon Town, they had been enquring about the availability of striker/left midfielder David Fisher and in the main he was seen as a temporary solution to LM, initially the loan move fell through but after some cunning negotiations French Creative Attacker Mohammad Dabre emerged as the leading player who was on Halfords target list. A swap deal was executed in player plus cash deal with Wimbledon paying a handsome 335,000 GBP for Dabre sending Fisher to Swindon Town permanantly. It is thought that once he joins up with the team he'll be making his debut in Tuesday nights contest in the Carabao Cup against Charlton Athletic.

    #FIFA22 #careermode #AFCWimbledon #greghalford #TheDons #fifacareermode

    The Latest update posted today coincides with Halfords Heroes Episode 1 which can be seen on my Official YouTube Channel for Set Play Gaming (link posted) Ep1 meet the team

    I'm posting these picture updates with text for those who do not have time to watch the Episodes, although my new format/editing now allows me to condense each episode to under 15 minutes so I hope that the shorter quicker episodes will be easier to follow. Halford will have a real big task in hand this season to keep the Dons up!
    ~Arlad
  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    Certainly bringing some pace to the squad with the signing of Dabre. I suppose he'll be useful in a wide position too...
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Certainly bringing some pace to the squad with the signing of Dabre. I suppose he'll be useful in a wide position too...

    yeah, we are playing 4231 narrow so both him and Chislett and Mebude can play CAM/LM or CAM/RM plenty of pace and when he's on the ball he's not bad, obviously issues with his strength but you accept that being he is only small.
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    The L1 season kicked off today, and it was oh so nearly a good start for new manager Greg Halford, the Dons fell behind to an early 2nd half strike from Fejiri Okenabirhie who had pulled away from Nesta Guiness-Walker at the back post to slam home his 1st goal of the season. Moments later the Dons equalized, Rudoni's superb ball to the 6yd box was glanced in by Ollie Palmer to draw Wimbledon level. With 4 minutes remaining this time Rudoni was played through only to spurn his chance wide. The game was all set to end 1-1 when right at the death in stoppage time Dodoo threaded a ball into the dangerous and lively Okenabirhie whose first touch took him beyond Nightingale as he danced between the defenders to squeeze a shot past Leutwiler handing Doncaster Rovers a 2-1 home win. After the match Halford had these brief words
    "We just switched off at the end, the lads genuinely believed a draw would of been fair but Football is not always fair, sometimes you don't get the rewards and that momentary lapse of concentration at the end has cost us, we have to put that behind us now and focus on our next match"

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    Here are the L1 scores from opening day. It is still expected that Wimbledon will struggle this season, some bookmakers are saying that Halford will not even make it to Christmas, while the majority of fans on the message boards are saying he'll need enough time. One thing is for certain is that Wimbledon's owners expect the club to fight to stay in L1. Which really burns the question in the mind, did they make a good pick with an inexperienced manager?


  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    edited February 12
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    After working out the disappointment of losing the opening league match Halford brought his men to the Valley, London to play Charlton Athletic in the first round of the Carabao Cup, maybe not so much a welcome distraction given all of their attention will be on staying in the league, but Halford used the opportunity to field another half of the squad to see what he has at his disposal. Charlton were taken by surprise around an hour into the game, firstly on 56' minutes Mohammed Dabre got on the end of an Ethan Chislett cross at the back post steering it beyond Henderson, then only 6 minutes later the Dons doubled their lead through Albanian Egli Kaja, Mohammed Dabre turned provider cutting back from the left for Kaja to place his shot into the far corner. All hands to the pumps with a 2-0 lead, Charlton were not down and out. Ten minutes left on the clock and after Morgan's shot was charged down Leko pounced in the box to pull the Addicks back within one. The comeback was completed when on 91' minutes Leko spun his marker Kalambayi and curled in a beautiful shot past Tzanev in goal to draw Charlton level forcing a penalty shoot out. Washington, Watson and Morgan all missed their penalties for the home side, meaning Assal's 4th penalty won the shoout out 3-2 in favor of the Dons advancing to the next round.

    Here is a quick round up of the scores from Carabao Cup R1
    Stevenage 1 Fleetwood Town 1 (Stevenage won 4-3 on Pens)
    Tranmere 0 Wycombe 3
    Carlisle 2 Port Vale 3
    Bolton 3 Reading 1
    Peterborough 1 Barnsley 3
    Sheffield Wednesday 1 Huddersfield 2
    Nottingham Forest 2 Shrewsbury 0
    Crewe Alexandra 1 Stoke City 4
    Bradford 1 Rochdale 2
    Barrow 1 Sunderland 2
    Portsmouth 1 Coventry 5
    Lincoln 1 Salford 2
    QPR 1-1 Morecambe (QPR won 4-3 on Pens)
    Crawley Town 0 Swindon Town 2
    Accrington 0 Burton 2
    Cambridge 2 Middlesborough 1
    Derby 1 Fulham 2
    Cheltenham 2 Plymouth 2 (Cheltenham won 4-3 on Pens)
    Blackburn 2 Harrogate 1
    Sheffield Utd 2 MK Dons 1
    Newport County 2 Forest Green Rovers 1
    Bristol City 0 Cardiff 1
    Colchester 1 Mansfield 1 (Colchester won 4-3 on Pens)
    Millwall 2 Exeter City 0
    Birmingham 2 Walsall 0
    Bournemouth 2 Wigan Athletic 0
    Hull City 1 Leyton Orient 0
    Rotherham 1 Gillingham 0
    Luton Town 2 Bristol Rovers 1
    Scunthorpe 0 Ipswich 3
    West Brom 4 Oldham 3
    Swansea 2 Preston 3
    Sutton Utd 0 Blackpool 1
    Doncaster 0 Oxford 0 (Oxford won 3-2 on Pens)

    *NOTE* The L1 match against Doncaster Rovers Away, and the R1 Carabao Cup match against Charlton can be seen on my YouTube channel, these results coincide with Episode 2 of Halford's Heroes.
    Ep2 - Halfords Heroes - August 7th to August 10th, Doncaster Away + Charlton In Cup
  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    Conceding late goals in consecutive games, I see... You need to make sure you'll play through to the full 90 from now on... Great to see the new signing making an immediate impact though.
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Conceding late goals in consecutive games, I see... You need to make sure you'll play through to the full 90 from now on... Great to see the new signing making an immediate impact though.

    :D thanks, we'll have to tighten up at the back, I think there is two major points of concern defensively, 1 is that the CB are too far apart on default settings so we'll have to reposition them over a number of games, as well as figure out how deep/far up the field we'll play, 2 is that the partnership of having both Nightingale and Heneghan are 2 defensive physical players but not very athletic or mobile, since Nightingale is the captain, we would need someone to partner him who is more pacey, I think Kalambayi might work better with him but again we'll see how the first month goes. Heneghan has like 46 pace lol :s
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