Woking v AFC Wimbledon
7.45pm on Friday 29 July 2016
The Cards finish their pre-season friendlies on Friday evening with an attractive fixture against the Dons, who will be starting their new campaign in League One. Cards fans will have been encouraged by their sideâ€™s performance against Luton Town in the 1-1 draw on Tuesday night following the 3-1 defeat of Swindon Town last Saturday. Former Academy player Charlie Carter was added to the squad earlier this week and and it was announced today that left back Ben Gordon has also signed up and that Dennon Lewis has joined on a season-long loan from Watford. It wouldnâ€™t be surprising if one or two more names were added before Fridayâ€™s game. Why not come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium and have a final look at how the side is shaping up?
Tuesday nightâ€™s game provided Garry Hill with another opportunity to look at potential new signings, all of whom had also figured against Swindon Town. They include strikers Zac Ansah and Chike Kandi and wingers Nathan Ralph and Charles Banya (though the latter has also filled in at left back). Cards fans will be a little concerned that Ismael Yakubu has got very few minutes under his belt so far, although the centre back partnership of Brian Saah and Joey Jones has looked sound.
AFCâ€™s astonishing rise up the football pyramid continued last season with promotion through the play-offs under manager Neal Ardley. League One will provide a tough test but the Dons should be good enough to stay up, while formal consultation continues on their planned move to a new ground at the greyhound stadium at Plough Lane.
During the summer the Dons lost striker Ade Azeez in a somewhat surprising move to Partick Thistle but have brought in former Oldham and Leeds striker Dom Poleon, as well as former Stevenage players Chris Whelpdale and Dean Parrett. The Donsâ€™ pre-season seems to be picking up nicely. After a 4-3 defeat at Dover Athletic and a 1-1 draw at Margate they defeated Reading 2-0 at the weekend, both goals coming from Poleon. This (Wednesday) evening they are facing a strong Crystal Palace side before coming to the Laithwaite on Friday.
The Dons have a nice mixture of experience and youth in their squad, with several very promising players coming through their Academy, especially midfielder Alfie Egan and the very pacy and tricky winger Toyosi Olusanya, both of whom figured strongly in the Donsâ€™ very successful Youth Cup campaign last season which saw the club reach the last 16.
The Cards start their Vanarama National League season on Saturday 6 August with a testing home game against Lincoln City, now managed by former Braintree manager Danny Cowell.