The Not So Secret Footballer #5: Why I signed for AFC Wimbledon

Jack Midson has now signed a professional contract for the forthcoming season and he can therefore reveal all about why he chose the club he did, the other clubs he had offers from and his thoughts about the summer as a whole.


Okay… where to start? So much has happened and, as most of you know, it is now common knowledge that I have signed for AFC Wimbledon. I am looking forward to a new challenge in the coming season and I believe I have chosen the right option.

It is a big relief and a weight off my mind. Now I can write honestly and tell the full truth about the goings on since the season finished.

It is true that I agreed a deal verbally with a League Two club that was more or less confirmed before I went on holiday on 2nd June. That club was AFC Wimbledon. The Conference club that rang me while I was in the meeting with Wimbledon was Wrexham. As I explained in my last article, Wrexham did put an offer on paper. And although I want to play my football in the league, Wrexham had offered me a salary much larger than what Wimbledon have offered, along with a signing-on fee and relocation fee.

Although I have signed for AFC Wimbledon for footballing reasons, the other factors can always be tempting. Managers and clubs know this and try to draw you away from something that you may have already set your sights on.

Another manager from a Conference club contacted me two days later with a deal. As I was away and I wanted to stick to my word with the club I had verbally agreed terms with, I passed the interest over to my agent to discuss which I thought was the fairest way to deal with it. The club that was interested was Cambridge United. The manager Jez George really tried to do everything in his power to get me at the football club and he was very honest, but I chose not to go there.

There was a lot of interest and comments on Twitter about me joining Hereford or Cheltenham. The truth is that I have spoken to Mark Yates at Cheltenham a few times and was trying to go to Cheltenham on loan towards the end of last season. After that, as far as I’d known, no official contract offer was sent my way. That remained the case until the day I got back from holiday and the day before I’d agreed to sign for AFC Wimbledon, when an offer did come in from Cheltenham. It was a flattering offer and I had a nice chat with Mark Yates who is very genuine, but I decided to stick to my word and sign for AFC Wimbledon as agreed.

And as for Hereford, I’ve never spoken to anyone at the club and, as far as I know, nor has my agent so I’m not sure where that interest came from. It just shows how rumours start and a lot are not true. Hereford seems like a nice club so I wish them all the best for this coming season.

I will confess that I did stir up speculation a bit on Twitter about where I was joining. But I honestly re-tweeted almost every comment as the interest about AFC Wimbledon heated up in an attempt to deflect the attention away. I didn’t want the deal to become common knowledge before I’d even signed anything. I hope people can understand these reasons and hope I didn’t offend anyone. A lot of the comments were others people’s views and not directly mine. I am happy that most of it was positive and if I had let people know where I was going before I signed, it could have been detrimental both to the deal and my career.

I couldn’t sign before my holiday as AFC Wimbledon had to be officially registered to the Football League. As they had only just been promoted, it takes a while to register and to get all the new Football League paperwork through, as it is all very different to the Conference contracts. The coach Stuart Cash actually rang me the day after I agreed to sign and asked whether I could make it in to sign the next day so we could work something out. I was going away that day so couldn’t make it but they obviously wanted to seal the deal in case other clubs tempted me away from their deal. As explained above, other clubs actually tried to do this so it was the right thing to try to do from their perspective.

Can I just say a special thanks to Gary Brabin, Dean Saunders, Anthony Hudson, Jez George, Chris Hargreaves and Mark Yates. It has been a rollercoaster ride since the season has finished but I’m glad I have signed with a great club with a lot of history, great fans and a genuine manager and staff. I am looking forward to the start of the season and what the season brings.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my articles over the past few weeks and thanks for all the support. If they have been popular, then maybe I’ll be writing some more.


Huge thanks to Jack for taking the time to write these columns. If the appetite is there for more during the forthcoming season, hopefully he will return to these pages soon. Good luck both to Jack and AFC Wimbledon in what promises to be a thrilling new Football League season for the Wombles.

Read the whole series here.


The Seventy Two
The Seventy Two published an outstanding series of articles about the Football League between 2010-12 and was the brainchild of Leicester City fan, David Bevan. As well as collaborating with The Two Unfortunates on the Football League Blog Network and a mammoth 2011-12 season preview, the site featured a host of leading bloggers and David was rewarded with a nomination in the 2011 Football Supporters’ Federation awards. Latterly, he was joined as co-editor by Joe Harrison and TTU is happy to present this archive of the site’s output.

7 Comments

  1. Mikey Sheehy
    June 20, 2011

    Jack,

    Good series of articles — what’s the thanks to Gary Brabin relate to as I can’t recall mention of Luton Town?

    Regards
    Mikey

    Reply
  2. Ryan Keaney
    June 20, 2011

    First of all, congratulations Jack. It’s fantastic to see you managing to get your wish and stay in the football league. From what I’ve picked up and read of AFC Wimbledon, they seem like a fantastic club and I wish all the best in commanding a place in the team and obviously help the cement their league status.

    It’s pretty commendable of you to stick to your word with AFC especially when you had bigger offers on the table.

    I have a question that you touched on when you mention Wrexham’s offer. How does the negotiation process work? Who makes the first offer/demands? Were you and your agent waiting for interest from clubs and then revealing your terms or do you wait for them to put their money where their mouth is with a concrete offer?

    I’d be keen to see these columns throughout the season if that is at all possible. Of course, I understand that might be possible but I find them incredibly interesting reads.

    Reply
  3. Jack Midson
    June 20, 2011

    Gary Barbbin was the other conference manager who rang me 2 days after I went away and I passed on the interest to my agent. As far as I no he said he was going to speak to his chairman and nothing came back so not sure what happened there.

    In regards to Ryans question me and my agent have a contract idea in our heads and mangers normally come up with a deal we then discuss it and negatiate from there or accept it.

    JM

    Reply
  4. News Round Up – 20/6/11 « The Anonymous Don
    June 20, 2011

    […] may have seen in last weeks news update I linked to the blog Jack Midson is currently writing for The 72. Now he has signed for the Dons, Midson gives his […]

    Reply
  5. Rob Knapp
    June 20, 2011

    Really glad that you have managed to sign for a great club and that you will be much missed at United. You always put in a great shift for Oxford and it was a pleasure to watch you play for us. Hope you have a duff game against us next season though =]

    Reply
  6. Outside Mid
    June 20, 2011

    Hopefully you will have a chance to work something up while playing this season. This series is one of a unique set of qualities of the football blog–not just others opining on the game being played by you but from YOU. Cheers.

    Reply

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