Darius Charles’ first spell at AFC Wimbledon is treasured by the fans and the player himself. During his time at Kingsmeadow, he helped the club gain promotion to League One and was an instrumental leader in a dressing room full of characters.
So it surprised many when he was allowed to leave on a free transfer for league rivals Wycombe Wanderers in 2018.
“It was difficult when I left,” Charles, re-signed by Dons head coach Mark Robinson this summer, told the South London Press. “I was happy at the club. I felt at the time that what the then manager [Neal Ardley] offered me didn’t reflect my influence. That was absolutely okay – we don’t always see eye to eye in football.
“Did I want to leave at the time? No. Was it the right thing for me to do at the time? Yeah. I don’t look back on it with any ill will or malice; it was just a part of this beautiful journey we call life.
“Often, you have to go through these situations and take out the gems and lessons to be learnt. It’s always important that when or how you leave things, do your best to do it on a good note because you never know when you may cross paths again.
“If there had been any unfitting manner or words when I left, that might have left a bad taste in my or the club’s mouth. However, because it was done respectfully, it gives you the opportunity to come back, which I have, and it’s brilliant.”
See Friday’s South London Press for an in-depth interview with Charles.
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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