AFC Wimbledon

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AFC Wimbledon is an English semi-professional football (soccer) club which is based in the United Kingdom. It is an affiliate of both the London Football Association and the Surrey Football Association. Although its current home-ground is at Kingsmeadow, which is located in the neighboring Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in London, the club traces its origin to Wimbledon in the London Borough of Merton. It is still believed and considered by its die-hard fans and supporters to be a continuation of the spirit which formed the Wimbledon Old Centrals and which kept alive the Wimbledon Football Club. The club is also known by its nicknames, “The Dons”, The Wombles”, and “The Crazy Gang”. Currently, it holds the all-time high English record for the most number of consecutive league game victories by any senior football club.

Anticipating a decision of the sport’s governing body that will result to the relocation of the club to another town, and determined not to allow a proud and colorful history to just die down, loyal and avid supporters of the Wimbledon Football Club formally organized the AFC Wimbledon in 2002. There were no other options because they were left with no team to follow in the coming season leagues. A competitive football team was formed in just a short time in preparation for the 2002-2003 season. In its first game ever as a team, it played a pre-season friendly game against Sutton United. Although it lost that game, it was able to attract a record number of fans.

With Terry Eames as its first manager, AFC Wimbledon competed in its inaugural league, the 2002-2003 season of the Combined Counties League. Starting slowly, the team gradually became strong in the end and went on to finish third place in its maiden league. This was the start of the new club’s rise to fame and glory. Its succeeding campaign, the 2003-2004 season, was more exciting and memorable as the team displayed remarkable performance, emerging as the champion and with a clean slate. This feat had established a record for the AFC Wimbledon at that time as the only football team in England in any league level to have maintained a perfect league record of no losses throughout the tournament. The team proceeded to win more tournaments under a new manager, Dave Anderson, its second.

As the club became more famous, management saw the need to extend its program of providing other sectors the chance to play football for the club. It organized youth teams of different age levels, and also a women’s team called the AFC Wimbledon Ladies. Because of the popularity of the club and also of the game, AFC Wimbledon was sponsored by Sports Interactive, a computer games developer. But, in the middle of the 2004-2005 season, the team played with its new name, the Milton Keynes Dons. It was named after the town of Milton Keynes in Bukinghamshire, the place where the former Wimbledon Football Club moved in years back. Time came when the team also has to encounter failures in its campaigns but, that is part of the game. With the arrival in 2007 of Terry Brown, the club’s third and current manager, the team regained its winning ways and continued with its upward momentum, winning more games and tournaments along the way.

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