AFC Wimbledon have today confirmed the appointment of former Wombles player Wally Downes as their new first team manager.
He replaces Neal Ardley, who resigned after six years in charge a few weeks ago. He was the third longest-serving manager in England’s top four divisions, having taken over in October 2012, but the club sat 23rd in League One and only just beat Haringey Borough in the FA Cup on Friday.
— AFC Wimbledon (@AFCWimbledon) December 4, 2018
There had been various reports recently claiming that he would be the new manager of the League One strugglers, however it seems his daughter confirmed it before the club revealed the news on the 30th of November by tweeting, “Big well done to dad, he’s coming home, starting where it all begun. So proud of you. Roll on @AFCWimbledon #afcwimbledon”. She he since deleted her account.
AFC WIMBLEDON CLUB STATEMENT:
We conducted an exhaustive and rigorous process which started with over 80 applications for the role. Wally Downes had the highest calibre coaching CV of any of the applicants and through two interviews outlined his strategy to increase the levels of performance required to ensure our key task of maintaining League One survival this season, whilst also continuing the legacy of our club on and off the pitch.
Wally previously spent a two year stint managing Brentford and has coached extensively in the Championship and Premier League at Reading, Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Glyn Hodges has also coached in the Premier League for Fulham as well as holding senior roles in player development at a number of clubs, including Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Manchester City.
Wally Downes said: “I am very proud to be appointed as manager of a club I love dearly. I apologise for my previous use of social media – my comments were meant to be humorous but on reflection they were a mistake. I am very aware of my responsibilities as Wimbledon’s manager and immensely proud to have been appointed. I am now looking forward to working flat out to help to keep the club in League 1.”
AFC Wimbledon supporters gave their reaction on the appointment, and of course, many of them knew he had been chosen a little while ago – take a look at what they’re saying on the next page.
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