WIMBLEDON’S schoolboy debutant Justin Clarke is hungry for more first team opportunities after coming on as sub in Saturday’s 1-0 EFL Trophy defeat at Wycombe.
The 15-year-old attacker replaced Josh Davison with the clock ticking down at Adams Park and the Dons trailing to Kieran Sadlier’s opener.
Sadly there was to be no scoring debut for the new kid on the block, but Clarke is hoping the experience signals the beginning of a long-term future as a Dons first-teamer.
He told afcwimbledon.co.uk: “I missed school on Friday to train with the first team for the day.
“I’ve just had my mocks as well. School and exams are important too.
“The players welcomed me in and they involved me in everything they do.
“It was a good feeling to get my debut, even though it wasn’t the result we wanted.
“I’ve got to work harder than before now because you always want to progress.
“I’m proud of the achievement, but I want to do more.
“Next time I want to try to get a goal and make an impact for the first team.”
Meanwhile, Wimbledon have signed up to ‘The Big Step’ campaign, which aims to end the promotion of gambling companies by the football industry.
The issue was put to the Dons Trust membership and received almost 80 percent backing when all votes were cast.
Plough Lane boss Johnnie Jackson gave his full support to the decision, as Wimbledon join the likes of Luton, Bolton, Tranmere and Forest Green in backing the initiative.
He said: “If you look at gambling and the damage it causes – the stats around suicides in particular – it’s touched a lot of people and probably more than we realise.
“The fact that so many people voted it through shows just how prevalent the problems around it are and how much people are affected by it, whether it’s themselves or the people around them.
“The more awareness around gambling you can create, the better.”
Dons Trust board member Michele Little welcomed the outcome of the vote from supporters.
She said: “As a club at the heart of our community, we are committed to being a force for good.
“We took the decision some time ago not to accept gambling advertising or sponsorship as a club.
“Now with the backing of our owners – the fans – we’re signing up to ‘The Big Step’ and saying that it’s time to end the harm that gambling advertising in football causes.”