Football Manager 2015 Team Guide: AFC Wimbledon aka The Dons
Welcome to my brand new project on Passion4FM where I will take a closer loon on some of the many football clubs around the world! Today I will start my study in England by handing you my team analysis of AFC Wimbledon. For this more in-depth Football Manager 2015 team guide of AFC Wimbledon, I will look at the players, the staff and everything about the club – in order to better manage the club and its players.
The aim is to give as good as possible team analysis of the club, which gives you the foundation for a successful save. The Football Manager 2015 Team analysis about AFC Wimbledon will be based off the newest 15.3.0 update.
Do give me feedback in the comments, I’d love to know what I need to improve in the future.
FM15 AFC Wimbledon Team Analysis: Introduction & Squad
An Introduction to AFC Wimbledon
AFC Wimbledon are a fan owned club based in, you guessed it, Wimbledon. They were formed by fans on the 30th May 2002, and will be celebrating their 13th anniversary this year. When Wimbledon FC was in financial trouble, the club was forced to relocate to Milton Keynes, and formed MK Dons. The fans formed a “Phoenix” club, called AFC Wimbledon, and have been through several promotions, including a 4-3 penalty win against Luton to gain promotion to League 2, to become the club they are now.
AFC Wimbledon Squad [Football Manager 2015]
The squad is decently sized, with good players and enough of them to cover when there are injuries. However, their main two defenders are in on loan, so make sure to have targets set up to replace them. A good thing to note is that Adedeji Oshilaja, a defender on loan at the club, is available on “Approach To Sign” at the end of the first season.
The squad has a great balance of skill and youth, and some players in that squad have great potential. There is a distinct lack of a decent keeper in the squad – James Shea is good, but not good enough for the division itself, especially if you want a promotion push. The Left Back position is also weak, so a replacement may be needed. The rest of the defence is fine, and so is the midfield. Up top, you have Akinfenwa, but no one else spectacular. A good backup or competition for Bayo will be needed. A list of potential transfers will be later in the article.
The Youth Facilities are nothing special, they are what is to be expected from a League 2 side. The board are willing to upgrade them from the start of the game, however it will mean that you will be hemorrhaging money, and that is not good in the first season. It is a great idea in either season 2 or 3, when you have more money. The club is small, so a bit of debt at the start of the game will be detrimental for you in terms of money received and future transfer and wage budgets.
The Under 21s and Under 18s are somewhat lacking in quality, so make sure to look for regens when they come around. Check out the other article I wrote on regen dates so that you know when they arrive, linked at the bottom of the article.
The Backroom Staff of AFC Wimbledon
The staff at the club are of a good level at the club already, although you could certainly do better. Their wages are all relatively low, and are acceptable for the level the club are currently at. You won’t need to replace any of the staff, although the Physios aren’t great. You will need scouts, as, at the start of the game, you have none. Keep a look out at the start of the game, there are several great ones, for example Ian Storey-Moore.
Backroom Staff list
Your Head of Youth Development is essential for better regens, so you will want to improve him. Most of the staff you can get are better than your current one, and for the same price. Although it is not a great problem at the start, you will want to improve the staff at your club as you rise up the leagues. An overhaul is not necessary, but could benefit the club in the short term.
Your assistant manager, Neil Cox, is essential at the club. For the level and the cost, he is great, and does a good job for you. The board are not rich, but being fans they help the club out a lot. They will change every few years, but will always remain fan owned. The rest of the staff, as I said before, are fine, and will get the job done.
I would advise using this formation for the squad, since it suits the players, and it works for me. Sean Rigg, although his report says the opposite, is one of your greatest assets, along with George Francomb. They will do a great job in League 2 for you, and provide “The Beast” with enough chances for him to take them. Tanner is a good player, and a great playmaker. You could also use him as a Shadow Striker, he performs well in that position too, he has the right stats for it. Jake Reeves is the linchpin in your side. He will prove essential to your side, both defensively and when going forward. A Sweeper Keeper is needed for when the defence plays higher up the pitch.
The side plays well when it has the ball, so Retain Possession is necessary. Without it, the team often has too little possession to have any effect on the game. A Higher Tempo works well with Work Ball Into Box, as the team is confident and works as a group when moving forward, and something that helps more when told to Run At Defence. They need to stick to Positions and Be More Disciplined, as it will mean that they don’t go mad and move about too much, which hinders the team. Playing on Structured aids this too. Look For Overlap is really unnecessary, however I feel that sometimes it can help, although does leave the team a bit vulnerable when the opposition counter attacks.
Of course, there are other formations which work, for example, this 3 striker formation. However, you may want to sell a Full Back if you are to do this, in order to free up funds for a backup CB. More on that later.
This one is a little more adventurous, but works nonetheless. It is effective if you want to attack quickly, and score goals. However, it can be quite dangerous defensively, and can lead to high scorelines, especially with the erratic defence that Wimbledon has. Use this formation with care. The wingers are on Support in order to help the defence a bit more, however if you need a goal quick, push them up and put them on Attack. They will be a constant menace to the opposition.
A Closer Look at the Wimbledon Players
He is your best keeper at the start of the game, and has the best potential out of all of the keepers in your squad. He is nothing special, and often a liability. A replacement is not necessary, but is needed if you really want to push for promotion in your first season. The former Arsenal Youth player is pivotal to the team in real life, but in this team he is unreliable.
Deji is your best Centre Back at the start of the game, and rightfully so. He is solid, and you can rely on him to perform consistently. He is a great Limited Defender, and should be at the heart of your defence. An added bonus is, that his contract runs out at the end of the year. He is not considered good enough by the Cardiff staff, so you will be able to sing him then.
Andy Frampton is a solid defender for the team, although his pace lets him down at times, which exemplifies the need for a faster defender, in the form of Oshilaja. He is a great player, and a great tutor. Use him in the first season, but by Season 2 he will not be good enough for your side, and you should consider buying a new defender. He usually accepts a pay cut when you renew his contract however, which will allow you to get a new CB in to replace him.
This defender is a good asset to your team. As your 3rd best defender, he is good as a backup, or even as a starter. He is, however, a little inconsistent, and if you really want to push for promotion, you’ll want a better Centre Back. He is, however, still young and could grow to be a great player for you.
Jack Smith is a quality Right Back for the side, and is important to your first team side. Although he is getting old, he is good for the first two seasons. A backup is not necessary, as the club has Barry Fuller, as cover, so you need not waste your money on another player.
This man is a great asset to your team, whether you are in League 2, League 1 or the Championship. He is the man you should be looking to for assists. He can do a decent job defensively too, although I wouldn’t rely on him to be consistent there. He does not need to be sold, unless the club is in need of funds or a huge transfer bid comes in for him. He will be quality for your side.
Jake is another player who is pivotal to your success with the club. He will pull the strings in the midfield of your team. When deployed as a Ball Winning Midfielder, he will consistently protect the defence, and even drop back when a taller defender goes forward for a corner or a free kick. As a defensive midfielder, he is genuine quality for League 2 and League 1.
As one of the longest serving AFC Wimbledon players still at the club, Sammy Moore is a well respected player. He is also your best genuine Centre Mid at the game’s start. His wide range of passes and his ability to locate a pass can split apart League 2 defences. He is cheap for the type of player that he is, and a great player for the club.
Dannie is a legend, and a solid Central Midfielder. Again, he is another Ball Winning Midfielder. At 35, he is getting on, and is not really good enough to be worth £1500 per week. He will do a very good job for you, however, and is a reliable midfielder when used. I would not recommend using him every week, however, I have found him to be quite injury prone at times.
He is seriously underrated statistically, and in game, he is absolutely brilliant. He is great when deployed as an Inside Forward, and will be a constant menace to the opposition back line. He has a natural goal scoring prowess, and will often pitch in with assists. He is a key player in the squad, and a valuable asset to the squad.
Alfie Potter is a recent addition to the squad, and, although he is decent, he is overshadowed by the amazing Francomb. I would advise using him as a squad player, and then trying to sell him at the start of season 2. His lack of crossing ability highlights his lack of ability compared to George Francomb.
Tanner is on loan from Reading, and is a quality player for his age. His lack of experience, however, is clear in game, and signing a tutor may be helpful for his progression as a player. Deploying him as either a Shadow Striker or an Advanced Playmaker will allow him the freedom to orchestrate the game, and control the team going forward. He is great when linking up the midfield to the attack.
He is the main man upfront. When played as a Target Man, he will score goals for fun, as long as he gets the chances necessary. His lack of pace, however, is frustrating, as it means that he can only score from crosses or when the ball is pumped forward from the back towards him. His strength and heading ability, however, more than make up for this, and make him a towering presence in the air.
Azeez is another underrated player in the team. He is great in game, and is a good squad player, although you should not rely on him goals. He is a super sub, and often scores in the dying minutes, helping you win or grab a draw. As a Defensive Forward, he drops deep to get the ball, and works well with Tanner and a Shadow Striker.
Connolly is not really good enough at this level. Although he is quality, his age means that he becomes worse very quickly, and by the January transfer window, is usually not good enough to make the bench. I would leave his contract to run out at the end of the season, and hire him as a coach. If needed, however, He is best suited as a Target Man or Deep Lying Forward – he lacks the pace to perform many other duties.
Transfer Budgets / Wage Budget 2014-2015
At the start, the team has relatively small budgets. They are:
Transfer Budget = 10k
Wage Budget = 3.7k
These can be adjusted, and to make the most of it, you can get:
Transfer Budget = 100k
Wage Budget = 1.1k
If used effectively, then you can get enough staff and players in on low wages and loans, and be an effective force on the transfer and loan market. There are many gems available on the free player market, including youngsters with fantastic potential, and some good replacements for current players who are not good enough to be in your first team. Here are a few players who you can sign to improve the side.
Jason Brown: Great keeper for League 2 teams, however he is old and his ability drops off rather quickly. Good short term replacement, although he is very expensive. Worth a look if you have then funds.
David Cornell: Good, young, and can be signed on loan. However, he is not a short term replacement for Shea, as he is not initially as good as him. Although he is a solid keeper, he is one to watch in the future for a League 2 side.
Luke O’Neill: A great RB, although he is unnecessary. He is also very expensive on the wage budget. Available on loan, he would be a great addition to the squad if you can lower his wage demands.
Adedeji Oshilaja: He is already at the club, but since his contract runs out at the end of the first season, he is a must buy. His wage demands are not too high, and will be a great player if played week in, week out.
No improvements are needed in this position, as the club have a strong midfield. However, one could look at:
Esteban Lopez: Available on a free, this young winger has League 2 quality, and potential to go on much further. As a RW, he will provide good competition for Francomb, and allows you to get rid of Alfie Potter.
Kwesi Appiah: An AFC Wimbledon fan and former loanee, he is a quality striker and will join the club on loan. He is a great poacher and provides some of the best competition available for Akinfenwa. His contract also runs out in 2015, so he may be available on a free transfer.
Tom Eaves: The Bolton striker is available on loan at the start of the game, and is a good backup striker. Possible of scoring 20+ goals a season, he has the potential to be a starter in your first team.
Wes Fletcher: Although injured at the start, he is a great striker, and is capable of being a goal scorer who can tear up the league. He is also quite young, which will help when trying to help the club grow.
Callum Kennedy: Not good enough, you may be able to get a small fee for him, if you are lucky.
James Shea: Good, but unreliable, so a replacement is needed. You can often get a decent fee for him from other League 2 sides.
Alfie Potter: Although he is a decent player, he is overshadowed by Francomb, and then Lopez, if you can sign him.
Remember, that as a League 2 side, players’ contracts will be running out every year, and will only sign 1 year extensions. Try to make them stay for longer, but just in case, make sure you have a replacement ready to join the club if your star man leaves. This also works in the opposite way – make sure to sign other leagues’ teams’ players. Keep and eye out for any Premier League side which releases some youngsters. Some of those can be gems for you.
AFC Wimbledon are a reasonably tough challenge for the average FM player, but an enjoyable one. The players have the quality to grow fast, and the club is a fantastic place to begin your managerial career. As a fan owned club, they are what a football club should be about. The fans. The feeling you receive when you get a small club up to the top of the Premier League is unbeatable, and I really hope that you use this guide to help you grow as a FM player. Enjoy the save, and mostly, enjoy yourselves.
Thanks for reading my Football Manager 2015 Team analysis of AFC Wimbledon. Do give me advice and help on what I can do to improve the article, and what I am missing. I am always looking to improve.