Wes Daily Chief Football Writer,

AFC Wimbledon manager Bill Hardly will field questions from supporters of the south-west London club at a special event this evening.

Over 200 100 50 fans will be in attendance to put Hardly on the spot about how preparations are going for the team ahead of the 2018-19 season.

The “Bleat the Manager” function, held in the Gas Your Golf Flow bar at Wimbledon’s Cheery Red Corduroy stadium, is an annual event that attracts the same old faces a range of supporters – from men to other men, old to not quite as old – who are all eager to interrogate Hardly with insightful tactical questions and analogies with their time as managers in the Modern and District Under-16s Little League.

The event starts at 1930pm, but if you can’t make it there, do not worry! The meeting actually took place earlier in the week, exclusive to members of the Stew and Mellow Club, and tonight’s show is merely a screening of that Q&A session. Therefore, as we have seen the video, we can give you all the insight and gossip from the event – before it’s even meant to have happened!

The key highlights were / will be:

Question: “Bill, why don’t we leave a man forward when we’re defending corners?”
Bill Hardly: “The statistics and data analysis show that this is not the best way for us to be successful.”

Q: “Bill, our players often look tired. Shouldn’t we be doing more hours on the training ground?”
BH: “The statistics and data analysis show that this is not the best way for us to be successful.”

Q: “Bill, why do our players never shoot?”
BH: “The statistics and data analysis show that this is not the best way for us to be successful.” (That’s actually fair – Ed.)

Q: “Bill, shouldn’t we have kept George Francomb? He was an outstanding players for us!”
BH: “The statistics and data analysis show that this is … wait, what?”

Q: “Bill, hahaha, I think we all, haha, wish you could, hahaha, still play for us!”
BH: “Me too. Me fucking too.”

Q: “Have you thought about bringing Rob Ursell back to the club?”
BH: “You’re an idiot.”

The evening promises to be another very successful one at Lynn’s Meadow, and fans can also take the opportunity to purchase the club’s new CHEETAH kits, competitively priced at just £48.

Hardly himself praised the new outfits – “The statistics and data analysis show that this kit is selling somewhat well” – before he was led crying from stage after fan John Monelotts, a 48-year-old credit controller from Carshalton, enquired – for the fifth time on the night and 27th time over the past five years – why we had not looked at getting some Chelsea youngsters in on loan.


Wes Daily Chief Football Writer,

Wimbledon have pulled off a huge coup by acquiring a new sweeper during the summer transfer window.

With fans unsettled by the departure of Dean Parrett, and unresolved contract issues of Lyle Taylor and Darius Charles, the club have moved swiftly to alleviate some concern by bolstering their options at Kingsmeadow.

“I’m really looking forward to showing the fans what I can do,” said Roger Wanstead, 54, who has agreed a temporary contract to assist with the club’s stadium clean-up weekends this June.

“Primarily I’m a sweeper – dusting down the terraces, brushing away overgrowth in the car park, stuff like that,” beamed Wanstead as he posed for photos in the Cherry Red Gas Travel utility cupboard – Wimbledon shirt in one hand, trusty broom ‘Chris’ in the other. “But I’m flexible. I can paint or drill, maybe dig, assemble bedroom furniture – whatever really.

“I’ve always wanted to help out with these weekends but haven’t been able to commit to more than about 79 per cent of the hours available, so I didn’t know if I’d be welcome.

“But the club said they are desperate for anyone to sign any sort of contract welcome all help, so I jumped at the chance.”

The role of sweeper was originally promised to Thomas Spores, 31, but despite claims from first-team manager Bill Hardly that Spores had not only done the job but was vital to the clean-up project, nobody else could claim to have witnessed the former Alexandra Palace caretaker attend the stadium, let alone put a shift in.

Wanstead, of Wanstead, East London, said he is particularly looking forward to working with fans of Kingstonian Chelsea Ladies other clubs, who also lend a hand on these weekends.

But the main topic of conversation was the name of his broom. He explained: “Chris is the name of my favourite Wimbledon players of all time – Chris Head.

“He may have only played a handful of games back in the Ryman League days, but I really enjoyed watching Head. It was a blow when he left – I thought the decision to let him go sucked.

“But there have been other Chris’s I have liked watching at Wimbledon. I mean, Hussey, Bush, and Wood … what a combination,” he drooled.

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Wes Daily Chief Football Writer,

Sources within AFC Wimbledon have confirmed that a former Kingsmeadow favourite will be returning to the club in January.

Supporters at the South London club will be delighted to hear that long-time fan Derek Arvery has purchased a half-season ticket and will make his first trip to Kingsmeadow in over two years when the Dons play Blackpool on January 20.

Arvery, pictured above – in customary green jumper and cap – watching over former player John Lelliott from his old seat in the Ru Paul Swank Stand, has not been to a Dons home game since October 2015.

The 52-year-old Communications Executive was last seen leaving that game – a 5-2 defeat to Morecambe – telling friends acquaintances other fans that he has been called away on important business, and was unlikely to attend any forthcoming fixtures.

Concerns grew Questions were raised about the welfare of Arvery after he did not return for any game in the remainder of the 2015-16 season, and his seat – which had remained empty – was taken by a new supporter when Wimbledon kicked-off the following campaign against Bolton Wanderers.

That fan – Layla D. Wimbledon, “34” – said she had no knowledge of nor any connection to Arvery, and although she was sorry that he did not appear to be attending games anymore, she was delighted to have landed a much sought-after season ticket near the club’s Peter Kay Aga Oven Presidential Suite.

“I love this club and can’t wait to see my heroes, like Alessandro Alibabar and Kyle Sailor, every week,” she said. “Wembley was amazing and I’m sure Bill Hardley will take us there again this series.”

Fortunately, it appears Arvery has been legitimately abroad on business and is looking forward to returning to Kingsmeadow – albeit now in the Don Kingston Green Noodle Stand.

“We only have seats in that stand,” Dons Chief Executive Derek Samuelsunderland informed us. “So as much as the regulars in the Swank Stand will miss his tactical insights and witty criticisms of our players and management staff – his observation that the only crossing George Francomb should be doing is blindfolded across the A3 was particularly well-received, I remember – he’ll have to settle for a new vantage point.

“We look forward to the return of his letters reminding us that we are a fan’s club and he should be allowed to sit where he likes and have meetings with our manager on request.”

In other news, Wimbledon fans might be disappointed to hear that there won’t be changes to the first-team squad during the January transfer window, with manager Hardley saying it would be, “difficult to improve” a squad that has so far taken his side to fourth-bottom of the table this campaign.


Wes Daily Chief Football Writer,

No AFC Wimbledon player will ever wear the number 14 shirt again after the club announced they have retired the jersey.

Dons Chief Executive Derek Samuelsunderland confirmed the decision at a dinner with members of the club’s Stew & Mellow Club at the Stonecutter Lodge on Wednesday.

Wimbledon legends Will Antwi and Jesse Darko are amongst a host of big name players to have graced the shirt, and club officials felt that it would be unfair on any future incumbents to be compared to such luminaries.

“We’re very proud of the many greats that have worn the number 14 shirt for this club,” said Samuelsunderland during his keynote speech at the Stew & Mellow Club’s biannual soiree. “We felt it would be impossible for any future player to live up to the accomplishments and reputations of these elite.

“Derek Duncan and Lee Minshull were great servants for us and highlight the legacy of the jersey. Duncan’s pre-season form in 2009 was outstanding, whilst Minshull’s two goals for us in our Conference promotion year were vital – and his electric red card at Southport, six minutes into his debut, really is the stuff of legend.

“And no-one will ever forget Callum McNaughton’s great display away at Morecambe in 2012, when he marked Kevin Ellison out of the game for large spells. Ellison even admitted himself that it was the luckiest hat-trick he’d ever scored in his career.

“Therefore, we took the decision in the summer to officially retire the number 14 shirt, with a replica jersey to be displayed at all times in the Athletics Chempest End toilets.”

Many fans feel the shirt should have been retired after the departure of Antwi, saying the pressure of the jersey was beginning to come to the fore.

“Ade Azeez really struggled with the expectation,” said long-term fan Shirley Crabtree, a season-ticket holder in the Your John Smith’s Gas Travel Stand. “It affected his brain to the point that it didn’t even look like he was aware he was a footballer.”

There was an unfortunate incident during Samuelsunderland’s announcement however, when a female fan began heckling the Chief Executive, claiming she had seen a player wearing the number 14 shirt earlier this season, passing the ball forward during the classic 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth in September.

The woman, identified as Layla D. Wimbledon, had to be ejected by Wimbledon assistant manager Ruel Fox.

First-team manager Bill Hardley apologised for the interruption and claimed the woman must have been mistaken.

“I haven’t seen any player wearing the number 14 shirt this season, and anyway, I can assure you that no player of mine would dare be caught passing the ball forward,” he said.

One Stew & Mellow Club member, who wished to remain anonymous, branded the incident as scandalous, saying: “Who let a woman in here? Feminism is ruining this country.”

Attendees at the gala event were said to be delighted with their carvery dinner – served-up by Michelin-starred caterers Sketchy’s Diner – and end-of-the-night raffle, in which one lucky punter won two tickets to Wimbledon’s upcoming Chaka Khan Trophy match at Yeo Valley.