Ardley delivers on Dons' defensive dilemma

Dons new man: Adam Barrett, left, in his Palace days has signed on loan for Dons from Gillingham

Dons new man: Adam Barrett, left, in his Palace days has signed on loan for Dons from Gillingham

First published in Football by

AFC Wimbledon’s amazing story is what enticed new signing Adam Barrett to the Cherry Red Records stadium.

Dons snapped up the Gillingham defender on loan as emergency cover for the injured Andy Frampton.

The 34-year-old skippered Gillingham to League Two glory in 2013, but has found himself surplus to requirements as Gills boss Peter Taylor looks to build a side based on youth.

Barrett, who made five appearances for Crystal Palace in 2010, has signed up until October 4, and said the Dons’ history was a major part of his decision to come.

“I’m delighted to be here. I had other offers and interest in me from elsewhere, but this seemed to fit the bill." he told the Dons website.

“The way the fans have brought the club back to the Football League is a fantastic story.

"I can remember when the club played at Selhurst Park and a long time ago at Plough Lane.

“It’s great to see them moving forward again and for me to be here is a big opportunity.”

The veteran feels he has plenty to offer Wimbledon after making more than 600 Football League appearances.

He said: “I had a full pre-season at Gillingham and I’ve had various promotions and won this league.

“There’s a lot I believe that I can help the squad with. We have a tough start coming up, but I’m looking forward to it.

“I’m fit, feel strong and I cannot wait to get going. I’ve heard great things about the manager and the club has passionate supporters.

“I just want to be a part of it, even if it is for a short space of time.”

He added: "It all happened quite quickly. I spoke to Peter [Taylor] the other day and I was told that he wanted to go in a different route, which was obviously disappointing.

"He has decided to go with younger players in his squad, but these things happen in football and I’m delighted to be here.

"I had other offers and interest from elsewhere, but this seemed to fit the bill.

Meanwhile Dons boss Neal Ardley has resigned defender Callum Kennedy.

Dons released Kennedy in May, but promising pre-season displays after recovering from an ankle tendon injury convinced Ardley to reward him with a new contract.

Ardley said: “I’ve been very impressed by Callum. We had a look at quite a few younger players, but none of them were anywhere near as good.

“He’s got fitter in pre-season and really impressed me with his performances, particularly in the second-half at Havant & Waterlooville. That was the best I’d seen him play for a long time.

“Callum knows what he needs to do and where he fell short last time.

"He’s got the bit between his teeth now and I think I’m going to get a different animal that what I got last season.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Back in the fold: Callum Kennedy has signed a new contract at Dons

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