We spoke to AFC Wimbledon Women’s First Team manager Kevin Foster, to get an update on the preseason, signings and what’s to come.
Q: Training started on 3 July – how was it?
A: Preseason is back and it’s really great to see all of our women back in business after which has been a short, but enjoyable few months off. It was clear that everyone was glad to be back and ready to get going for the upcoming season.
Q: Has there been any changes or updates to the staff for this new season?
A: On a staffing front we are going into the season as settled as we have ever been, with retaining Blaine Walsh and Andy May as head coaches, John Parker our goalkeeper coach, Jacob Miller our S&C coach, and a medical team headed up by Stephanie Cantelo-Poppe and assisted by Mariam Apata and intern Isiah Goddard-Joseph.
The U23s welcome aboard Scott Lockwood to the coaching staff. Many will know him from the Foundation – adding and another joined up approach, having two coaches from the teams working across different areas of AFC Wimbledon.
As with all the staff we are hugely fortunate to have the expertise we do with everyone putting the time and effort in for the players voluntary.
Q: And what about the squad? Any new signings?
A: On the pitch it’s very positive. We have retained a large amount of the squad, only losing Katie Stanley to retirement, and Angel Fowler to the USA. We wish them both all the best.
We do also welcome two new, highly rated footballers so far. Both are at different ends of their career. Emma Plewa joins from Crawley Wasps, having played at a number of high-profile clubs including Chelsea and Charlton. A right winger who can also play down the middle, she’ll bring us experience and a different dimension to our game. Plewa is bright, with excellent movement and has always scored goals and added assists when she has played football in the higher tiers.
We have also signed Mia Lockett – a strong, direct, dynamic, winger at a young age who already boasts an excellent CV having played football in the Championship with Crystal Palace and Tottenham, and last year she was promoted with Billericay Town FC.
Both players will add excitement and a new edge to our forward line, and I’m sure with both Emma and Mia will have a strong positive impact on the group.
Q: So what’s next?
A: We are now looking forward to and preparing for the Ipswich match having had two full weeks of training. We are looking forward to getting going and putting match fitness into the players, whilst also being able to show the AFC Wimbledon faithful just what the women are capable of producing this season.
Once again, as I’ve alluded to in the past, this double header with our men’s and women’s fist teams, playing and supporting each other at Plough Lane shows the seriousness of AFC Wimbledon’s one club strategy. I hope to see as many people down there cheering on the football club for both the men and the women. I certainly will be down there, as I’m looking forward to seeing a new era with Johnnie Jackson. I’m wishing him and the team every success.
The preseason started this Tuesday with an evening game against Sutton United, and there are another six games scheduled after today’s game.
Coming up are home games (at Carshalton Athletic FC) against Portsmouth and last year’s league winners Billericay Town. The first team is also facing away games to Fulham, Bournemouth, Dulwich Hamlet and Clapton Community FC.
The full schedule and more details about each game can be found here.