BY DANIEL MARSH
Jack Rudoni is living the dream at AFC Wimbledon after making his full debut at Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day.
The young midfielder was given a starting role in the Dons’ festive win over Rovers, before following up with his second successive start in the narrow reverse to Oxford United yesterday.
“It’s a dream come true,” Rudoni told the South London Press.
“I found out in training that I was going to start on Boxing Day and I just started preparing my mind and getting ready for the game. What a day it was – a great result and a great performance from us all.”
Rudoni has been at the club since the age of 11 and featured prominently alongside a number of other starlets from the Dons academy throughout pre-season. He isn’t the first and won’t be the last to get his chance in a squad which has seen it’s starting 11s yield the youngest average age in League One this season.
“This club has been my home since the U11s and to come all the way through and start playing in front of these home supporters, it’s just a dream come true for me. Our squad is very, very young.
“Even the older players, who aren’t even that old, they help us young ones along and they’re very good with us. It’s great to see me and Tommy [Wood] coming on, Nesta [Guinness-Walker] is young, Paul Osew’s playing and stuff – it’s great for us all.”
Rudoni spent a couple of months on loan at Tonbridge Angels earlier in the season before returning to the Dons squad, and he credits his short spell with the Kent side as a key part of his recent development.
“It’s a good set-up at Tonbridge,” explained Rudoni when discussing his temporary spell away from Wimbledon.
“It gave me a good part of men’s football. I was just playing in the U23s here and it’s hard to go from U23s without men’s experience into a big League One match where points are on the board and it’s very serious. So, going to Tonbridge was just learning my trade and getting prepared for what could come but at a higher level here. It was good down there – they were all good to me and helped prepare me for playing here.
“I just want to play every week. First half of the season I was in and around the bench and had the little loan spell away [at Tonbridge]. I was just patient, waiting for my chance, just always being ready. I’d like to hope that I can keep pushing on and keep playing. That’s all I want to do – keep playing my football and help Wimbledon.”
PICTURES BY PAUL EDWARDS