Historic First As Wanderers Set To Lock Horns With Young Dons
Now however, thanks to a mouth-watering draw in the Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup, Wanderers will be locking horns with a professional club in a competitive fixture for the first time in their history.
Meadowbank Football Ground will see its first ever Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup fixture on the 30th October, as an AFC Wimbledon Development side visit for the first round of the competition.
For Dorking Wanderers Manager and Chairman Marc White, this represents a massive opportunity, and another chance for the local community to show their strength in numbers at Meadowbank.
“It’s been better a better start than we could have hoped for,” said Marc. “The stadium has been incredibly well received beyond what anyone could have expected.
“These things always have a funny way of working out, and in the end the delays actually helped us, as we were able to improve the spectator experience through the design of our fan zone.”
Dorking Wanderers have got off to a great start this season, currently sitting 4th in the Bostik Premier League in just their second season in the division, having only lost 1 game of their opening 10.
“Coming from a facility where we couldn’t train to the new 3G pitch at Meadowbank is a massive help, but this is where we would expect to be at this stage.”
Young Dons Come To Town
Established back in 2013, the AFC Wimbledon Development Squad aims to bridge the gap for the players in their youth set-up, supporting them in a positive environment with the hopes of them developing into first team players.
“Alan Reeves is part of the old set up from back in the day when they won The FA Cup,” explains Marc White.
“He heads up the development team that they will be fielding, so it’ll be another reason for the local supporters to come out again.
“It will be a really strong challenge from what are full-time players, so on that basis will be a tough game, and we’ll have to see where we are at with injuries, but we will look to field a really strong side and try to beat them.”
The Dons squad will be made up of full-time development squad members, selected U18 players, as well as first team players in need of game time.
Since rejoining the Football League, a total of 25 players have come up through the AFC Wimbledon development to appear for the first team, so spectators can expect to see the names on the team sheet progressing onto higher things in the future.
Started From The Bottom
The rise of Dorking Wanderers from back in 1999 has seen their status rise with it, and, as Marc White explains, the nature of the Surrey County Cups they have entered has changed with time.
“When this club started, we used to play in the Lower Junior section of the cup. I’m not sure how many other clubs can say this, but we’ve actually played in every level of the cup!
We’ve been beaten in two finals at lower levels, so it’s a competition for us, having come from this background, that’s always been our biggest cup competition, and we’d love to get to a final.
The Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup fixture between Dorking Wanders and AFC Wimbledon is set to take place on Tuesday 30th October, 7.45pm at our home Meadowbank Football Ground, Dorking.
Two former Premier League footballer's will be in attendance on the evening, as Garry Flitcroft and David Dunn head down in support of Flitcraft Ltd, who will be sponsoring the game - and presenting the man of the match awards.
Tickets will be £5 for Adults, £3 Concessions and £1 for U18’s (U8's go free).