Special game for AFC Wimbledon’s Paul Robinson as he gets set to face hometown club Barnet

AFC Wimbledon’s trip to Barnet tomorrow holds special significance for centre back Paul Robinson as he prepares to face his local team.

The defender was born in Barnet and alternated going to Barnet and Arsenal games as a youngster.

And ahead of their league match, he explained why the game holds a personal significance for him.

He said: “I was born and bred in Barnet and used to go to a lot of their games. I had a lot of my good football experiences at Underhill.

“They seem to be a club that’s going from strength to strength. They’ve got a good new stadium and some good infrastructure there.”

Had things worked out differently he may have suited up for the Bees.

“Barnet approached me when I was 16 but I ended up signing for Millwall instead,” he said.

Robinson, now 34, has featured in every league game so far for the Dons this season and credits the staff and the manager for keeping him fit.

He said: “Jason Moriaty and the gaffer Neal Ardley have put a very good programme in place that has worked really effectively for me.

“I’ve always liked to look after myself off the pitch as well and try and make sure I get benefits from training.”

Wimbledon enter the game on a high after winning five in six including Saturday’s 4-1 win over Luton Town.

They sit 10th in the League Two table, just three points off the play-off positions with a game in hand over many surrounding sides.

Barnet are 18th after their 2-0 win at bottom-placed Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Dons were victorious the last time the sides met at Kingsmeadow but Robinson told the club’s website he expects a tough afternoon.

Ardley meanwhile has emphasised the importance of focusing on the task at hand this weekend and downplayed his side’s play-off challenge.

“Now is not the time for pressure,” Ardley said.

“Now is the time to enjoy playing football and to just go for it.

“The form has been good and my job is not to make a big deal out of it – yes, we’re trying to make that top seven, but let’s enjoy the games, let’s go into them and be excited by them, and if we lose, well, then we lose.”

The Dons will be without centre-back Karleigh Osborne, who picked up a knee injury in training last week, but could welcome back midfielder Connor Smith, who was out with concussion.

Feature image courtesy of AFC Wimbledon TV, via Youtube, with thanks

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