Former Dons' midfielder Neal Ardley unveiled as AFC Wimbledon's new manager
AFC Wimbledon have unveiled Neal Ardley as their new manager and the former Dons' midfielder says he will put his heart and soul into taking the club to the next level.
Ardley, who spent 11 years as a Wimbledon midfielder from 1991, was chosen by the board ahead of caretaker manager Stuart Bassey - who remains as first team coach for the time being.
Lee Bradbury and the bookies' favourite Robert Page were also on the shortlist of four candidates the board were considering this week.
Ardley and new assistant Neil Cox will be introduced to the Kingmeadow faithful before taking charge of the League Two clash with Cheltenham on Saturday.
There are question marks over the 40-year-old's lack of experience as a league manager, but the Epsom-born former U21 England international points to his five years as youth academy manager of Cardiff City and more than 400 top-flight appearances - including 245 for Wimbledon - as good grounding for the challenges ahead.
But first and foremost, Ardley is excited about his first management position.
He said: "I am under no illusions about the task ahead but I will put my heart and soul into doing it right. I can guarantee the fans that I will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the club.
"At the end of the day, the only thing I can be judged on in terms of the fans and their history with the club and love of it, is the results and taking AFC Wimbledon forward."