AFC Wimbledon have signed Zaki Oualah – seven years after the goalkeeper first started training with the club.
The 26-year-old stopper will act as cover for first-choice Nik Tzanev. The Dons plan to loan out England youth goalkeeper Matthew Cox.
Wimbledon head coach Mark Robinson said: “Zaki has been with us for seven years now as a training goalkeeper. People may look at Zaki’s size for a goalkeeper, but he’s an absolute athlete – he’s unbelievable. He won’t want me saying this, but if he was six foot one inches he would be playing in the Premier League. It’s just about us being creative in terms of what we are doing. Obviously, we’ve got Matthew Cox and we want him out playing men’s football, so it’s great to bring Zaki in. He will be our back-up number two, and we are giving him that opportunity.
“His professionalism is incredible, so he is one of those players that you want in the squad. His standards are so high, he’s a fitness fanatic, and I’m more than happy to think outside the box, his size doesn’t bother me.
“He’s going to be a massive attribute for us in many ways. He is absolutely chuffed and I’m glad he’s got the opportunity. He’s had to graft to get this chance and if you speak to anyone in the non-league circuit they will tell you that he’s an absolutely fantastic keeper. People get scared about height, but he’s happy to come in as back-up and be given the opportunity.”
PICTURE: AFC WIMBLEDON
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.