AFC Wimbledon

AFC Wimbledon

Football club infobox
clubname = AFC Wimbledon

fullname = AFC Wimbledon
nickname = The Dons; [The nickname is often derived from the team's place of origin, so for example teams in many sports which represent the area of Wimbledon are commonly known as "the Dons".] The Wombles
founded = 2002
ground = Kingsmeadow,
Kingston upon Thames,
capacity = 4,500
chairman = Erik Samuelson
manager = Terry Brown
league = Conference South
season = 2007–08 | position = Isthmian League Premier Division, 3rd
(promoted via play-offs)
shirtsupplier=Tempest sports
shirtsponsors=Sports Interactive
mascot = "Haydon" the Womble

AFC Wimbledon is a semi-professional English football club, affiliated to both the London and Surrey Football Associations which plays in the Conference South of English football. The club takes its name from, and traces its origins to Wimbledon in the London Borough of Merton although their home ground is currently in the neighbouring Borough of Kingston. The club and its supporters specifically regard the club as a continuation of the former Wimbledon FC, and consider that Milton Keynes Dons are not representative of the legacy and tradition of the club. [cite web|url=|title=A.F.C. Wimbledon Website, Honours|accessdate=2007-11-23|publisher= ""]

The club spent its first two seasons in the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League, but was promoted in only the second year of its existence to the Isthmian League Division One for the 2004–05 season, after winning the Combined Counties League championship with an unbeaten league season. They then proceeded to win the Isthmian League Division One at the first attempt, thereby earning automatic promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division. The 2005–06 season saw the club finish fourth, thus entering the play-offs for promotion to the Conference South, however they were defeated 2–1 by Fisher Athletic. The club would finish fifth in 2006-2007, and once again fail in the play-offs, after losing to Bromley in the semi-finals.

The club finished the 2007-08 season in 3rd place in the Isthmian League Premier Division. They were subsequently promoted to the Conference South division following a 2-1 play-off final victory away to Staines Town on May 3, 2008.

The club currently hold the all-time English record for the most consecutive unbeaten league games by any senior football club, having achieved 78 league matches in a row without defeat over a period spanning three seasons. [cite web|url=|title=BBC Sport website match report"|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2004-11-13|year= 2004|month=11 |publisher= "BBC"]


The club was founded by dissident supporters of Wimbledon F.C., led by Kris Stewart, [cite web|url=|title=A club is born"|accessdate=2008-05-13|date= 2002-07-14|year= 2002|month=07 |publisher= "Guardian"] in May 2002, when the Football Association agreed to allow Wimbledon FC to relocate 56 miles north to the new town of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire and in the view of these fans cutting all ties with the area of Wimbledon. Although Wimbledon F.C. was unable to physically move for more than a year, their traditional local support dried up almost immediately in a ground-swell of popular protest against the move. [cite web|url=|title=Dip in attendances lower than breakaway club AFC Wimbledon's|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2004-06-06|year= 2003|month=06 |publisher= "BBC"] The name AFC does not actually stand for the usual "association football club", in January 2005 Marc Jones - one of the founders of the club - suggested that actually the initials 'AFC' meant nothing in particular... "we thought it sounded 'non-league' but it never really stood for anything." That said, an alternative meaning "A Fan's Club" has been used by some.

Soon after moving, Wimbledon FC Ltd went into administration, [cite web|url=|title=Wimbledon F.C. goes in to administration|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2003-06-06|year= 2003|month=06 |publisher= "BBC"] and the business was bought out by Pete Winkelman, [cite web|url=|title=Wimbledon F.C. bought by Peter Winkelman|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2004-03-23|year= 2004|month=03 |publisher= ""] who re-branded the club as Milton Keynes Dons F.C. in 2004. This left AFC Wimbledon as well as their ladies and junior sides as the sole bearers of the "Wimbledon" name. By then, all organised supporters' groups that had followed the old club had long since pledged allegiance to AFC Wimbledon.

In order to assemble a competitive team at such short notice, they held player trials over three days on Wimbledon Common in June 2002, open to any unattached player who felt he was good enough to try out for the team. From these trials, the club's squad for its inaugural season was chosen.

The new team attracted a crowd of 4,657 fans for its first ever game, [cite web|url=|title=AFC Wimbledon match report vs. Sutton United|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2002-07-10|year= 2002|month=07 |publisher= ""] a pre-season friendly against Sutton United on 10 July 2002.

2002–2003 season

In 2002–03, their first competitive season in the Combined Counties League, managed by Terry Eames they started slowly but won their last 11 league games to finish the season in third place, narrowly missing promotion to the Ryman Isthmian League.
* League (Combined Counties League, Premier Division): 3rd of 24 [cite web|url=|title=Combined Counties Football League Premier Division league table 2002-03|accessdate=2007-11-23|publisher= ""]
* London Senior Cup: 3rd Round, lost to Barkingside 3–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for London Senior Cup 3rd round vs. Barkingside|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2003-01-29|year= 2003|month=01 |publisher= ""]
* Supporters Direct Cup: Won beating Enfield Town 2–1 [cite web |url= |title=Match report for Supporters Direct Cup vs. Enfield town |accessdate=2007-09-14]
* Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup: 2nd Round, lost to Southall 5–1 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup vs. Southall|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2002-08-12|year= 2002|month=08 |publisher= ""]
* Cherry Red Books Trophy: 3rd Round, beat Frenford Senior 3–0; however AFC Wimbledon could not agree a date to play Waltham Abbey in the Quarter Final and withdrew from the competition, giving Waltham Abbey a bye into the Semi Final [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Cherry Red Books Trophy vs. Frenford Senior|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2003-01-22|year= 2003|month=01 |publisher= ""]

2003–2004 season

they won their first 21 league games before a draw on 10 January 2004, giving them 32 consecutive wins in league games over two seasons. By this time, AFC Wimbledon was the only club in England at any level to maintain a perfect league record for the 2003–04 season. Despite the sacking of manager, Terry Eames, The Dons success continued under caretaker manager Nicky English, whose first game in charge resulted in a club record 9–0 victory. The Dons went on win the championship with an unbeaten season (42 wins, 4 draws, with a goal difference of +148), easily earning promotion to the Isthmian League Division One. On 30 April 2004 they completed a "double" by winning the league's Premier Challenge Cup.
* League (Combined Counties League Premier Division): Champions, 1st of 24 "(promoted)" [cite web|url= squad=1&Psection_id=5&Psub_section_id=36&op=Viewby&season=2003|title=Combined Counties Football League Premier Division league table 2003-04|accessdate=2007-11-23 |publisher= ""]
* FA Vase: 6th round, lost to Colne 2–1 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Fa Vase vs. Colne|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2004-01-17|year= 2004|month=01 |publisher= ""]
* London Senior Cup: 1st Round, lost to Ilford 6–2 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for London Senior Cup vs. Ilford|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2003-09-17|year= 2003|month=09 |publisher= ""]
* Surrey Senior Cup: 3rd Round, lost to Banstead Athletic 2–1 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Surrey Senior Cup vs. Banstead Athletic|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2004-01-03|year= 2004|month=01 |publisher= ""]
* Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup: Winners, beating North Greenford United 4–1 (at Woking's Kingfield Stadium) [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup vs. North Greenford United|accessdate=2007-11-23|date= 2004-04-30|year= 2004|month=04 |publisher= ""]

2004–2005 season

The 2004–05 season saw A.F.C. Wimbledon playing in the Isthmian League, under the leadership of newly appointed first team manager, Dave Anderson. They won 29 games, drew ten, and lost three, and led the division all season to earn promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division. Also, the Dons – in their first appearance in the FA Cup – reached the Third Qualifying Round, bowing out to Thurrock from Conference South (two divisions above). A 1–0 home win over Metropolitan Police on April 9, 2005 guaranteed the First Division title. They won the Surrey Senior Cup final 2–1 over league runners-up Walton & Hersham on May 3, having defeated teams from higher leagues in earlier rounds, including a reserve side from Premiership club Crystal Palace in the quarter–finals. Dons manager Dave Anderson was named Manager of the Year in the Isthmian First Division following the season.

After scoring all three of the Dons' goals with a hat-trick against Dunstable Town in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, Rob Ursell was voted FA Cup Player of the Round. The 2004–05 season also saw AFC Wimbledon sign their first full international, when they acquired New Zealand international Shane Smeltz in mid-season.

The Dons set a new all-time record for the longest streak of unbeaten league games at any level of senior football in the United Kingdom. They remained unbeaten for 78 league matches between a 2–0 defeat at home to Withdean 2000 on 22 February 2003 and a 2–0 defeat at Cray Wanderers on 4 December 2004.
* League (Isthmian League, Division One): Champions, 1st of 22 "(promoted)" [cite web|url=|title=Isthmian League Division One league table|accessdate=2007-11-24 |publisher= ""]
* FA Cup: 3rd Round Qualifying, lost to Thurrock 2–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for FA Cup 3rd Round Qualifying vs. Thurrock|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2004-10-16|year= 2004|month=10 |publisher= ""]
* FA Trophy: 1st Round, lost to Hendon 3–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for FA Trophy 1st Round vs. Hendon|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2004-10-06|year= 2004|month=10 |publisher= ""]
* Isthmian League Cup: Quarter Final, lost to Slough Town 4–2
* London Senior Cup: 4th Round, lost to Fisher Athletic 4–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for London Senior Cup vs. Fisher Athletic|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2005-01-11|year= 2005|month=01 |publisher= ""]
* Surrey Senior Cup: Winners, beating Walton and Hersham 2–1 aet (at Woking's Kingfield Stadium) [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Surrey Senior Cup vs. Walton and Hersham|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2005-05-03|year= 2005|month=05 |publisher= ""]
* Supporters Direct Cup: Lost to Brentford 2–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Supporters Direct Cup vs. Brentford|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2004-06-20|year= 2004|month=06 |publisher= ""]

2005–2006 season

The 2005–06 season proved far more competitive than previous seasons, and after winning their first few games the Dons found themselves struggling to remain in the play-off places as injuries to key players kept them below full strength. However, after fluctuating form they eventually confirmed their place in the play-offs with a 1–0 win against manager Dave Anderson's former club, Hendon on April 22. However the play-offs proved a disappointment as defeat at Fisher Athletic meant there was to be no promotion this year. The Dons again reached the final of the Surrey Senior Cup, losing 1–0 to Kingstonian in a fiercely contested derby game.
* League (Isthmian League, Premier Division): 4th of 22 – lost in playoff semi-final [cite web|url=|title=Isthmian League Premier Division league table 2005-06|accessdate=2007-11-24 |publisher= ""]
* FA Cup: 2nd Round Qualifying, lost to Walton and Hersham 3–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying vs. Walton and Hersham|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2005-09-24|year= 2005|month=09 |publisher= ""]
* FA Trophy: 1st Round, lost to St Albans City 3–2 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for FA Trophy 1st Round vs. St Albans City|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2005-12-17|year= 2005|month=12 |publisher= ""]
* Isthmian League Cup: 4th Round, lost to Hendon 1–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Westview League Cup vs. Hendon|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2005-12-20|year= 2005|month=12 |publisher= ""]
* London Senior Cup: 4th Round, lost to Wingate and Finchley 3–2 aet [cite web|url=|title=Match report for London Senior Cup vs. Wingate and Finchley|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2005-12-06|year= 2005|month=12 |publisher= ""]
* Surrey Senior Cup: Finalists, lost to Kingstonian 1–0 (at Woking's Kingfield Stadium) [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Surrey Senior Cup vs. Kingstonian|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2006-05-12|year= 2006|month=05 |publisher= ""]
* Supporters Direct Cup: Won, beating F.C. United of Manchester 1–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Supporters Direct Cup vs. FCUM|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2005-06-12|year= 2005|month=06 |publisher= ""]

2006–2007 season

The 2006–07 season was Dave Anderson's last in charge, as AFC Wimbledon lost in the play-off semi-finals for the second year running. Much of the season was overshadowed by a proposed 18 point deduction for playing Jermaine Darlington without first having gained international clearance due to the player's previous club being Cardiff City. This punishment was eventually reduced to three points and a £400 fine by the FA, who accepted that the club had made an administrative error. In the FA Cup, the team reached the final qualifying round before a 2–1 defeat at Exeter City. However, they did achieve victories against Conference opposition in the FA Trophy, winning away against Aldershot Town and Gravesend & Northfleet before being expelled from the competition due to the Jermaine Darlington infringement.
* League (Isthmian League, Premier Division): 5th of 22 (−3 points) – lost to Bromley in playoff semi-final [cite web|url=|title=Isthmian League Premier Division league table 2006-07|accessdate=2007-11-24 |publisher= ""]
* FA Cup: 4th Round Qualifying, lost to Exeter City 2–1 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying vs. Exeter City|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2006-10-28|year= 2006|month=10 |publisher= ""]
* FA Trophy: Expelled from competition.
* Isthmian League Cup: 4th Round, lost to Tooting & Mitcham United 1–0 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Westview League Cup vs. Tooting & Mitcham United|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2006-11-14|year= 2006|month=11 |publisher= ""]
* London Senior Cup: 4th Round, lost to Dulwich Hamlet 3–2 [ [ Match report for London Senior Cup vs. Dulwich Hamlet] ]
* Surrey Senior Cup: Expelled from competition.
* Supporters Direct Cup: Lost to F.C. United of Manchester 2–1 [cite web|url=|title=Match report for Supporters Direct Cup vs. FCUM|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2006-06-22|year= 2006|month=06 |publisher= ""]

2007–2008 season

The 2007–08 season saw AFC Wimbledon promoted to the Conference South after a 2-1 win over Staines Town in the Ryman League playoff final. Terry Brown's first season in charge was to prove an often frustrating one, as the Dons were beaten by each of the teams finishing in the bottom four, with East Thurrock and Borehamwood both achieving the double over them. Eventual league champions Chelmsford City also beat the Dons twice, with a 1-0 victory at Kingsmeadow and a 3-2 win at Melbourne Park, though the Dons recorded a 4-0 victory over them in the FA Trophy. AFC Wimbledon reached the Second Round Proper of the Trophy, where the team suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Torquay United and the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, where they were beaten on penalties by Horsham.
* League (Isthmian League, Premier Division): 3rd of 22 – won in playoff final
* FA Cup: 3rd Round Qualifying, drew 1-1 with Horsham – lost 5–4 on penalties
* FA Trophy: 2nd Round, lost to Torquay United 3–2
* Isthmian League Cup: 2nd Round, lost to Whyteleafe 2–0
* London Senior Cup: Quarter Final, lost to Bromley 4–1
* Surrey Senior Cup: 2nd Round, drew 0–0 with Whyteleafe – lost 4–3 on penalties

League history

Former players

The Wimbledon Old Players Association (WOPA) was formed in 2005, as part of the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association's (WISA) campaign to reclaim the history of Wimbledon Football Club for the community of Wimbledon. Membership of WOPA is open to all former Wimbledon FC and AFC Wimbledon players and managers. Among the sixty founder members were John Fashanu, Dave Beasant, Efan Ekoku, Neil Sullivan, Dave Bassett, Wally Downes, Marcus Gayle, Neal Ardley, Alan Kimble, Andy Thorn, Roger Joseph, Dickie Guy, Allen Batsford, Roger Connell, Ian Cooke, Roy Law and Steve Galliers.

WOPA fielded a team in the Masters Football Tournament on Sunday 16 July, at Wembley Arena, with AFC Wimbledon's backing. [cite web|url=|title=Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association news item re Wimbledon Old Players Association (WOPA)|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2006-05-23|year= 2006|month=05 |publisher= ""] The team included Carlton Fairweather, Scott Fitzgerald, Marcus Gayle, and Dean Holdsworth.

Managerial history


Wimbledon F.C.

Following the move of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes and the club's rebranding as Milton Keynes Dons F.C., there was much debate over the home of the honours won by Wimbledon F.C. Former supporters of the club argued that the honours and trophies won by Wimbledon F.C. rightfully belong to the community of Wimbledon and should be returned to the local area. AFC Wimbledon maintain that the honours of Wimbledon F.C. belong to the fans, as illustrated by the following statement on the club's official website:

In October 2006, an agreement [cite web|url=|title="Accord on history and honours of Wimbledon F.C." - WISA website|accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2006-09-09|year= 2006|month=09 |publisher= ""] was reached between M.K. Dons F.C., the MK Dons Supporters Association, the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association and the Football Supporters Federation (FSF). The replica of the FA Cup plus all club patrimony gathered under the name of Wimbledon F.C. would be returned to the London Borough of Merton. Ownership of trademarks and website domain names related to Wimbledon F.C. would also be transferred to the Borough. As part of the same deal it was agreed that any reference made to Milton Keynes Dons F.C. should refer only to events subsequent to August 7, 2004 (the date of the first League game of Milton Keynes Dons F.C.). As a result of this deal, the FSF announced that the supporters of Milton Keynes Dons F.C. would be permitted to become members of the federation, and that it would no longer appeal to the supporters of other clubs to boycott MK Dons matches. [ [ "MK Dons agree to return Wimbledon trophies to Merton - and sanction amendments to football statistics" - FSF website] ] . On 2 August 2007, Milton Keynes Dons transferred the replica trophies and all Wimbledon F.C. memorabilia to the London Borough of Merton. [ [ BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Milton Keynes | Merton given back Dons trophies ] ] [cite web|url=|title=Merton given back Dons trophies |accessdate=2007-11-24|date= 2007-08-02|year= 2007|month=08 |publisher= "BBC"]

"(For a full list of Wimbledon F.C. honours referred to above, see Wimbledon F.C..)"

AFC Wimbledon

* Isthmian League
** Premier Division Play-off winners (1):" efs|2007-08;"
** Division One Champions (1):" efs|2004-05;"
*Combined Counties League
** Champions (1):" efs|2003-04 (unbeaten);"
*Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup
** Winners (1):" efs|2003-04;"
*Surrey Senior Cup
** Winners (1):" efs|2004-05;"
** Runners-up (1):" efs|2005-06;"
*Supporters Direct Cup
** Winners (2):" efs|2002-03; [cite web |url= |title=Match report for Supporters Direct Cup vs. Enfield town |accessdate=2007-09-14|date= 2002-08-12|year= 2002|month=08 |publisher= ""] " "efs|2005-06" [cite web |url= |title=Match report for Supporters Direct Cup vs. FCUM |accessdate=2007-09-14|date= 2005-06-23|year= 2005|month=06 |publisher= ""]
** Runners-up (2): "efs|2004-05"; [cite web |url= |title=Match report for Supporters Direct Cup vs. Brentford |accessdate=2007-09-14|date= 2004-07-20|year= 2004|month=07 |publisher= ""] "efs|2006-07" [cite web |url= |title=Match report for Supporters Direct Cup vs. FCUM |accessdate=2007-09-14|date= 2006-06-22|year= 2006|month=06 |publisher= ""]


Club records

* Biggest Home Victory: 9–0 against Slough Town on 31 March 2007.
* Biggest Away Victory: 9–0 against Chessington United on 14 February 2004
* Biggest Home Defeat: 4–0 vs. Hampton & Richmond Borough on 1 April 2006.
* Biggest Away Defeat: 4–0 vs. Walton & Hersham on 2 April 2005
* Longest unbeaten run: 78 games from 26 February 2003 to 27 November 2004 "(This is the longest unbeaten sequence of league matches of any team at senior level in the UK)"
* Record Attendance: 4,560 at Kingsmeadow, 5 May 2003 versus Raynes Park Vale.

Player records

* Most Appearances: Anthony Howard 189 between July '04 and March '08.
* Most Goals: Kevin Cooper 107 goals in 105 appearances, between August '02 and May '04.
* Most League Goals in a Season: 53 "(66 in all competitive games)" – Kevin Cooper 2003–04.

See also

* List of Fan Owned Teams


External links

Official sites

* [ AFC Wimbledon official site]
* [ The Dons Trust]
* [ The Fans' Stadium]

Unofficial sites

* [ Womble Underground Press Fanzine Forum]
* [ AFC Wimbledon video clips]
* [ Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association]
* [ An unofficial AFC Wimbledon fan site, "SW19's Army"]
* [ The Big Tissue (fan site hosted by]
* [ Dons Online - video footage of every match]
* [ - Comprehensive Stats & Quick access to all the latest team information]

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