AFC Wimbledon's new signings can point the way to a happier home life

Pointing the way home: Dannie Bulman has the experience missing from certain areas of the Dons team last season

Pointing the way home: Dannie Bulman has the experience missing from certain areas of the Dons team last season

First published in AFC Wimbledon Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Experience counts for a lot, and AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley agrees saying his summer signings are about more than just goals.

The Dons new striking partnership of Matt Tubbs and Adebayo Akinfenwa has amassed 258 goals in 529 appearances between them.

However, the arrival of defender Mark Phillips, and midfielders Dannie Bulman, pictured, and Sean Rigg, with a collective 1,005 appearances, is all about experience.

This, according to Ardley, is his answer to the side’s League Two woes at home last season.

He said: “We know our home form last season was not good enough, and that sometimes transmitted itself to the stands and mumbles and grumbles.

“We perhaps did not have the players to deal with the mental side of that, but now we have the characters with the experience who can deal with that.

“Last season we were not getting the goals we needed, and that in turn put pressure on the side and perhaps some of the younger players struggled with that.

“Hopefully we’ve addressed that – we need to as well because I believe this season is going to be the most competitive League Two season yet.”

He added: “There are a lot of quality players out there signing for League Two sides, there is more money in the league than before and we need to make sure we can compete.”

Meanwhile, Ardley has recruited goalkeepers James Shea from Harrow Borough, and Basingstoke’s Joe McDonnell to give current stopper Ross Worner competition for his shirt.

Dons kick-off their pre-season campaign on Saturday with a trip to Margate, managed by former Dons favourite Terry Brown.

A Chelsea XI (July 19) and Sutton United (July 22) are the first visitors to the Cherry Red Records stadium before trips to Woking (July 26), Havant & Waterlooville (August 1) and Aldershot (August 2) .

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