Having only being founded in 2002, AFC Wimbledon’s rapid rise up the English footballing ladder continues next season.In May, they defeated Plymouth Argyle at Wembley to ensure promotion to League One for the first time in their 14-year existence.
Second-half strikes from Lyle Taylor and Adebayo Akinfenwa clinched promotion for Neal Ardley’s side, whose Wembley success came exactly 14 years since the club’s formation.
A run of seven victories from their last ten matches launched the Dons into play-off contention, a run which included a semi-final triumph over Accrington Stanley, who narrowly missed out on the final automatic promotion spot.
Former Iron forward Taylor proved pivotal in his team’s campaign, considering he was the only Wimbledon player to hit double figures throughout the season, as he notched an impressive total of 23 goals. Adebayo Akinfenwa and Adebayo Azeez also added eight goals each, providing good support for the ever-consistent Taylor.
The Dons job is Ardley’s first in management, following his appointment in 2012, and having kept Wimbledon in the Football League for three consecutive campaigns, last season’s promotion was the first in his short managerial career.
Wimbledon are yet to add to their ranks ahead of the new season, but with captain Barry Fuller extending his long stay with the club, the building blocks are already being put in place before the commencement of the Dons’ maiden season in the third tier of the English game.
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