When Callum Kennedy fell victim to the annual end of season Dons player cull, he thought his time at the Cherry Red Records stadium had come to an end.

The 24-year-old defender ended the season with a niggling ankle injury and was released in May into the football wilderness by boss Neal Ardley.

However, Kennedy was given leeway to continue training with the team in an effort to get fit and find a new club.

Then, out of the blue, Ardley offered him 20 minutes against the Blues on Saturday, and Kennedy got an even longer run out in the 2-1 win over Sutton United on Tuesday night.

Now, with Ardley still hunting for a left back, Kennedy is out to impress his interim boss and get himself back in the Dons fold permanently.

Kennedy said: “It was not a nice feeling to be released. The most worrying thing at the time was that the injury did not feel like it was getting any better, and I was having a few set-backs.

“At the same time my main concern was for my career, it was not a career-threatening injury, but knowing I was going to be without of a club and I was still injured, that was the most worrying thing.”

He added: “The gaffer said I could train with the team and I was seeing Stuart Douglas about my injury as well.

“It turned out I was not managing the injury right, so when we go to the bottom of that, it started to get better, and there is no reason it shouldn’t come back.

“I was getting fitter too, and the gaffer suddenly asked me if I fancied 20 minutes against Chelsea, and I said ‘Of course’.

“I thought my level of fitness was good, but after the Chelsea game I realised it was nowhere near where it should have been.

“I got longer against Sutton and, maybe it was to do with the weather on Saturday against Chelsea, but I could actually breathe against Sutton.

“Now I am just concentrating on getting fit, and we’ll see where it goes from there – but I would love to be part of what is happening here.

“I know the fans are exciting by the signings, and so they should be.”