Writer: The Anonymous Don/DJ
Date:Thursday July 7 2011
Last week AFC Bournemouth completed the transfer of AFC Wimbledon midfielder Steven Gregory.
Gregory became Cherries manager Lee Bradbury's second signing of the summer, so we asked AFC Wimbledon supporters 'The Anonymous Don' and Ray Armfield to tell us about the Cherries new signing.
The Anonymous Don told us...
'Having lost captain and top scorer Kedwell, seeing Gregory go as well was something of a surprise (and a reality check) to those of us who presumed we would never sell two of our key players during the summer.'
'Looking forward to the start of our first campaign as supporters of a Football League club for near on a decade, seeing the spine of our side literally torn in half wasn't part of the plan... and has tempered the ambitions of those who tipped the Dons to launch a playoff challenge and possible back to back promotions, Wimbledon's squad for next term currently looks decidedly lower midtable devoid of our star men.
'Of the two departures, in all honesty Gregory was the more likely. Consistently picked out as the driving force behind the Dons success by commentators and visiting managers alike, visiting scouts reached such numbers by the time Fleetwood arrived for the playoff semi-final that non-playing squad members were forced to vacate their seats and sent packing to the terraces.
'Gregory joined from local rivals Hayes and Yeading, despite the Middlesex club's surprise promotion to the Conference Premier alongside the Dons in 2009 (in part thanks to two rare Gregory goals in their playoff final).
'A fixture in the Dons side for two seasons, as well as the England C team (a representative team consisting of under-23 players based outside the Football League), Gregory was instrumental in how quickly we navigated our way out of the Conference.
'Surprisingly, Gregory wasn't overwhelmingly a fan favourite, yet this is probably more a comment on the sort of midfielder (and style of football) most Dons fans were brought up on.
'Wimbledon's success was largely built on a passing game that revolved around Gregory sitting in a holding position, receiving the ball and moving it on, kickstarting attacks, on his day dictating the pace of the game. He didn't put in crunching challenges, he didn't get forward and score goals (one in seventy-eight appearances for the Dons - Gregory's comment on the car park at Dean Court was apt, considering that's where most of his efforts will end up)... to be honest it wasn't a large part of his role in the Dons system, but still an alien concept to those unaccustomed to watching sides wearing blue and yellow play a possession-based game.'
'In snatching Gregory now, Bournemouth have a technically gifted midfielder, by all accounts relishing the opportunity to test himself at a higher level, most importantly at 23 still with plenty of time on his side. Given the opportunity to play alongside and against a better quality of player, Gregory's potential should shine through, he will hopefully take the step up in his stride and immediately have an impact at Bournemouth next season.'
Ray Armfield added...
"It was almost inevitable that some of the AFC Wimbledon side would come under scrutiny from clubs higher up the food chain after our playoff exploits last season and I'm not entirely surprised that Steven has moved to a club in a higher division, although if I'm being entirely honest I thought it might be a Championship side that finally bagged him.
"So what have you got for your (undisclosed) money then? Well, Steven is used best when he sits in front of the back four, breaking up attacks and spraying some pinpoint passes around. For older readers, he can remind you of the great Franz Beckenbauer doing a similar languid job for Germany. Don't expect too many goals from him - he drew a blank in 49 games for us last season and some of his long range shooting worried residents in the neighbouring gardens more than opposition goalkeepers.
"He was a semi-pro, living in Thame and a part-time personal trainer when we signed him from Hayes 2 years ago and he slotted in quickly and easily to Terry Brown's style of passing football. Nicknamed 'Posh Boy' in the dressing room (probably because he can string two sentences together without saying y'now or innit) he was a regular in the England C non-league side too. In the playoff final with Luton he was targeted and crunched early on by Luton's midfield enforcers, but he still looked the most assured and accomplished player on the field.
"Possibly his choice to move to the Cherries was influenced by his girlfriend reportedly studying at Bournemouth University? Whatever the circumstances, you've got yourselves a tidy player and one I expect that will have no problems in making his mark in League One. I wish him well.
Special thanks again to 'The Anonymous Don' and Ray Armfield for their time.
Don't forget to keep checking the RednBlack Shack for great online deals and help to raise money for the AFC Bournemouth Youth Team.
It's easy to join Vital Bournemouth
Date:Thursday July 7 2011
Ward: It's going to be a big test (Wednesday June 19 2013)
Cherries sign Ward (Wednesday June 19 2013)
Arter: 'Every game will be a big one' (Tuesday June 18 2013)
Ritchie: Looking forward to Portsmouth (Tuesday June 18 2013)
Cherries to host Pompey in the Capital One Cup (Monday June 17 2013)
Fraser: I'm ready to deliver (Monday June 17 2013)
AFCB Sign Holmes (Monday June 17 2013)
Howe: We will continue to pass (Monday June 17 2013)
Long-term Injury Update (Monday June 17 2013)
Time for Stockley to Shine (Friday June 14 2013)
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