Fulham's loan ranger Richards is loving his Dons life

Living the quiet life: Tom Richards

Living the quiet life: Tom Richards

First published in Football by , Reporter

Dons on loan defender Tom Richards has moved out of home – but not to live the bachelor life, rather he needs some peace and quiet.

And it is not surprising given the 19-year-old is one of 12 children, meaning the sanctuary of his gran’s house is ideal.

Richards joined AFC Wimbledon from Fulham in March until the end of the season, and has helped guide the Dons to a run of just two defeats in 11 games.

The teenager is hoping his time at the Cherry Red Records stadium will impressed Felix Magath enough to have a shot at the Craven Cottage first team.

However, for the time being is happy to test himself against the rough and tumble of League Two, which included a 2-1 win at Plymouth Argyle on Monday.

Goals from fellow loanee Kwesi Appiah, and Jack Midson, saw off the challenge of the Pilgrims, while Appiah also scored in Friday’s 2-2 draw with Newport County, alongside George Francomb.

Richards said: “It has been very different to U21s football at Fulham, but it’s been a good experience.

“It’s more physical, and there are bigger crowds to deal with obviously.

“The aim is to get first team experience, playing against adults, because with the U21s it’s just the reserves and young players.

“A couple of games have been harder than others, but overall I’ve found it all right. I’m quite quick, which is good and makes up for what I lack in size.”

The versatile Richards is compared to Damien Duff and he watched the Irish winger, as well as Kieran Richardson and John Arne Riise, closely when invited to train with them during Rene Meulensteen’s tenure at the Cottage.

As for next season, he predicts another loan stint somewhere but hasn’t given up hope of impressing Magath.

“The club like us to go out on loan to get some first team football, and get some experience to see how we cope,” he added.

“I’ve got another year on my contract, so I’ll probably get out on loan again, but you never know what happens, it depends how the manager sees it, if he’s impressed he could bring me into the first team.”

If Richards goes out on loan again, chances are he will keep his present digs and stay away from the noise of such a large family in Guildford.

He said: “I moved in with my gran in December to get a bit of peace and quiet to help me concentrate on my football, which has really helped and is so important to me.

“Living with gran is challenging, but fun.”

Dons host Morecambe this weekend, before ending the season with a trip to Accrington Stanley.

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