Friday Football Feature: AFC Wimbledon look to future without Terry Brown


The Dons sacked Brown on Wednesday afternoon following a run of six defeats in seven games.


By Alex Christian

AFC Wimbledon begin the post-Terry Brown era with a trip to Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow.

The Dons sacked Brown on Wednesday following a run of six defeats in seven games and a torrid run of league form since the second-half of last season, with only six wins in the last eight months.

The Kingsmeadow stadium was an emotionally-charged scene for his final game at the helm – the Dons’ 1-0 home defeat by Torquay. Brown applauded all four sides of the ground before heading in tears to the dressing room for one last time.

In just four years Brown steered Wimbledon from the obscurity of the Ryman League in 2007 to a Football League side, ensuring his place alongside the likes of the 1988 Cup-winning team in the club’s folklore.

Yet despite new summer signings and a reasonably strong squad, the Dons’ league slump continued and the Board made the decision to axe Brown in the hope to avoid a relegation fight.

The likes of Crazy Gang legend Lawrie Sanchez and ex-Brentford boss Andy Scott have been linked with the vacant post that has also been advertised on the Dons’ website.

However, with a trip to Adams Park to face fellow strugglers Wycombe, there are more immediate concerns for Wimbledon, who are now without a win since the opening day of the season.

Simon Bassey is in the caretaker role for tomorrow’s game and he is forced to pick from a depleted squad.

Jack Midson and Christian Jolley are suspended while there are fitness concerns at the back – Pim Balkestein and Curtis Haynes-Brown are major injury doubts, captain Mat Mitchel-King is still struggling with a back problem and full-back Jim Fenlon is not fully fit.

Bassey told the AFC Wimbledon website: “For me to be caretaker manager at Wimbledon, whether that is for one or two games, is a massive honour.”

“We have spoken about the games to come and I am trying to take the pressure off them. But Saturday is a good audition, not just for them to give me everything, but also in case a prospective new manager is watching them.”

This is arguably AFC Wimbledon’s most uncertain period since their rise and rise from the ashes of Wimbledon FC. The club have gone from countless promotions up the football pyramid to now needing to consolidate their current standing for the first time – only a strong managerial appointment can realistically make that happen.

Plus there is the continued talk on a new ground in Merton and finally bringing AFC Wimbledon back home after two long decades.

Dons season-ticket holder, Andrew Smith said: “This is an important stage for the club and getting this right is key to its future and the future fan base of Wimbledon….Wimbledon needs its club back.”

But first there is the matter of a crucial game against Wycombe tomorrow.

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