Glyn Hodges admits this individual still can not quite think his fortune. “I has been just carrying out a bit of household chores and a little bit of gardening – the garden had been looking wonderful, ” grins the AFC Wimbledon associate manager. “I didn’t anticipate it yet football is usually weird. Occasionally an opportunity simply comes out from the blue. Whenever this one arrived I thought it had been a no-brainer. ”
Almost 40 years considering that he joined up with Wimbledon’s youngsters team within the season these were promoted from your old 4th Division, Hodges had been unemployed since leaving behind his function as Stoke’s Under-23 supervisor last The month of january. Then arrived the call through Wally Downes. Both had been founding users of Sawzag Bassett’s part who took up custom in the eighties with their cost to the best flight prior to winning the particular FA Glass, and Downes turned to their old buddy after becoming appointed to change Neal Ardley in December, in spite of them never ever having worked jointly in their lengthy careers since coaches.
Along with West Pig in town regarding Saturday night’s fourth-round tie up, the dual act can call on the Crazy Bunch spirit in order to inspire the brand new incarnation from the club.
“When he arrived here I had been 17 and was fifteen, ” Downes says associated with Hodges, exactly who, like their new manager, had still left Wimbledon prior to the famous conquer Liverpool within the 1988 last. “It’s fantastic because there is stuff \ to say [to each other]. Whenever we played regarding Wimbledon plus Bassett produced us enjoy direct, all of us got upon with it. All of us wanted to enjoy a bit more compared to we do, but we all knew to work …. I was the disparate voices within the dressing area.
“We utilized to sit within the corner collectively and if possibly of us had been getting a covering, I’d kind of take it within the chin yet Hodg was obviously a bolshie fucker and if this individual knew it had been coming he’d have the program out. Harry would state: ‘Put the particular programme lower Glyn. ’ And he might say: ‘I ain’t placing it straight down, he’s speaking a load associated with bollocks. ’ So Harry would yell: ‘Put the particular fucking program down! ’ He utilized to piss your pet off some thing rotten. ”
A skilful midfielder using a shock associated with blonde locks and a classy left feet, Hodges produced nearly two hundred and fifty appearances meant for Wimbledon plus went on to try out for several night clubs, including Watford and Sheffield United, just before moving into training. He proved helpful under Bassett at Barnsley and had 2 spells because caretaker prior to becoming Wales Under-21 supervisor, beginning a connection with Tag Hughes that will took your pet to Blackburn, Manchester Town, Fulham, QPR and Stoke.
After a brief spell in control at Brentford in 2002, where he been successful his advisor Steve Coppell, Downes experienced also satisfied for a profession as an associate, at Southampton and Western Ham, plus was dealing with Coppell within India till his shock return to southern London.
However even though their side’s just win within their last 6 matches arrived the last circular against Fleetwood as they possess sunk towards the bottom associated with League 1, Hodges thinks they have every possibility of avenging Wimbledon’s 5-1 beat to Western Ham in the fifth-round replay in 85.
“You’ve have got to fancy our own chances – it’s the particular FA Mug, ” he admits that. “They’re likely to find it difficult to reduced here yet we have to make certain we are on this game. ”
“In the very first game, all of us drew 1-1 and I strike the posting, ” Hodges recalls from the 1985 video game. “I obtained injured plus Wally emerged on. Which was me – I was to a while. I actually shouldn’t have got played. Probably I should were more expert but I desired to play towards West Pig. I was actively playing on one lower-leg and I compensated the price simply by missing the particular replay. Which was the time whenever we had gone with the leagues very quickly. You are watching Fit of the Day and were in no way on it then all of a sudden we are playing towards these people you needed watched in the news. It was such as ‘wow’. ”
Hodges still left for Newcastle in 1987 having assisted Wimbledon complete sixth within the First Department following advertising and visited the final per year later like a fan – “I obtained hammered in the tube! ” Downes, at the same time, had became a member of Bassett in Sheffield Usa a few months prior to Lawrie Sanchez scored the particular goal that will made background for Bobby Gould’s part but demands he has simply no regrets regarding missing out on the particular club’s greatest day.
“That’s the game men and women were saying football can have done aside with in case a team like this won, ” he says. “I had accomplished my trip, Fourth Department to the Very first, played in each one for your club. To find out them earn that day time was the determining moment. Been through the leagues, got to Initial Division which was excellent. What’s following? Oh, the particular FA Glass. We’ll earn that and most of. ”
Although it is improbable we will watch another tale like Wimbledon’s given the particular huge financial situation now within football, their particular rebirth because AFC Wimbledon in 2002 after the primary club elected to move to Milton Keynes is really a modern fairy tale that will culminate with the go back to their previous home with Plough Street. The Dons Trust finished the buy of the freehold for the property in December, along with plans to develop a twenty, 000-seater arena on the site properly advanced.
For the moment, though, Hodges is certain there are sufficient reminders from the club’s well-known history from their existing home on Kingsmeadow in making West Ham’s players move when they occur on Sunday. “It’s obtained the really feel of the outdated Wimbledon, ” he says. “There are a lots of familiar face, a lot of people nevertheless here. The particular bar more than there – it’s such as the bar in Plough Street, it appears exactly the same.
“Our players’ lay was a club. We’d go ahead there following the game and obtain changed plus sometimes you had been still inside at fifty percent two, 3 o’clock each morning. That was urged. It’s such as I’ve never ever been aside. ”