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Back to the future - I sign for Wimbledon - 27/02/2004

Back to the future - I sign for Wimbledon
Stuart Murdoch - Wimbledon manager
 
Links:
 Managers:
   Stuart Murdoch
 Clubs:
   Milton Keynes Dons

Today marks another chapter in my football career, and Iím very excited to say that Iím signing as player-coach for Wimbledon. Itís a short-term contract Ė just until the end of the season, but it gives me the opportunity to give something back to a club that gave me my chance in the big time. Iíve always looked back on my time at Wimbledon with great affection, and as an ex-pro, I was sorry to see them drop out of the Premiership and
now to see them struggle in Division One. 

Itís all happened relatively quickly, but that can be taken as a measure of my enthusiasm. This is not a money move Ė far from it, Iím studying for my ĎUEFA Aí coaching badge and the position also give me the opportunity to get onto the training pitch and help out the management in a coaching aspect. The club has lost four decent players recently and thereís a great deal of youth at the club. Thereís a need for some experience and Iím
here to help, both on the pitch and on the training ground.

My future is in coaching and I hope that once again Wimbledon and Warren Barton will work well for each other. I spoke to Stuart Murdoch and Jimmy Gilligan on Monday, and then played a practice match on Wednesday. We talked some more yesterday and I sign today. This season has been pretty traumatic for the club and the league table tells a story. Sometimes in life you have to take a step backward in order to move forwards. Relegation is a distinct prospect, but it offers the opportunity to re-build and move forward. The move to Milton Keynes has been very controversial, and I understand why thereís been so much debate, but Iím up for the challenge and Iím here to give it everythingÖ

Footnote:

Since the move has been announced I've received a number of emails to this website from AFC Wimbledon fans. In moving to Wimbledon I've upset alot of people who've supported me in the past - and this is something that I genuinely regret.  I do have sympathy for the AFC fans and I do take an interest in the new club, however I would also like to point out that I made an enquiry at AFC Wimbledon some six weeks ago and I'm still waiting for a reply. In the meantime I've met Wimbledon and I've been treated with respect and made to feel very welcome. I've been offered the chance to play and coach in the First Division and it's an opportuity that I make no apologies for taking.

In no way is this move intended to be a slight on AFC Wimbledon, I genuinely wish the club and in particular, the fans all the best.


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