AFC WimbledonSport

Dons sign former Sheffield United and Blackpool defender on free transfer

AFC Wimbledon have signed former Sheffield United defender Ben Heneghan on a free transfer.

The 27-year-old spent the previous two seasons on loan at Blackpool.

Dons manager Glyn Hodges told the club’s website: “I know Ben because I had him at Stoke for a couple of years. He was a young, up and coming player there and since leaving he has done tremendously well. He went to Chester, then up to Scotland, before joining Sheffield United. He played against us last season for Blackpool, so he knows the level, and he’s a good acquisition for us.

“He’s no-nonsense, a good size, and he’s a good professional, so he ticks a lot of boxes, and we are delighted that he has signed. Before the deadline we had targeted a centre-back, but we did not quite get that done.

“As we are still uncertain about the timing of Luke’s return, we are basically two down. It’s unusual to sign a player of Ben’s calibre outside the window, so we jumped at the opportunity.

“The only problem is that he’s not quite at the level of fitness of the other lads, but that’s fine because he’s a naturally fit boy anyway, so it won’t be long before he gets up to speed. He will be straight into the squad and with games coming up we are going to need a lot of bodies.”

Heneghan added: “I’ve worked with the manager before, so I’m happy to be here, and I can’t wait to get going. I was at Stoke with Glyn when I was with the U23s after I moved there from Everton. It was my first professional contract, and Glyn did the best for me. My first pro contract meant everything to me and I was happy to get it there.

“I am still learning every day, and the more games I play the better. I’m a no-nonsense defender, I head everything, get stuck in, and I see myself as a bit of a leader. I have played in this league for a couple of years now, so I know what it’s about. I will pass on my knowledge to others and try to help as much as possible, but I just want to go out there and keep as many clean sheets as possible.”

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