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Ardley gets his man: Tubbs snubbs the Reds for the Dons
AFC Wimbledon’s new hot-shot signing Matt Tubbs may have signed a deal for a season-long loan, but there is nothing to say he will not be staying around for longer.
The 29-year-old striker, who has 121 goals in 226 first team appearances since starting out with Salisbury in 2006, put pen to paper onat the Dons on Monday.
Tubbs had been offered the same deal at Crawley Town, where he spent the second half of last season, but turned down manager John Gregory in favour of Neal Ardley.
“It was not an easy decision to say no to Crawley Town as they are very close to my heart, but when it came down to it I wanted a new challenge,” he said.
“I have had three spells at Crawley Town, and I wanted to finish on a high and go out with good memories.
“I met up with Neal as soon as the season finished and he told me about his aspirations for the season and the players he had on his wish list.
“We’d been in contact for about two months, so it was clear he wanted me at AFC Wimbledon, and that means a lot to a player.”
He added: “He’s a young manager with new school ideas, which is so different to the old school way of coaching I have been used to in the past.
“A lot of my managers would spend the first couple of weeks in pre-season without even getting the footballs out – it would be a case of running, running and more running in an effort to get fit.
“But Neal knows players need to be fit when they start pre-season, so we can go straight into training with the balls.
“It is all about old and new philosophies, and Neal is certainly all about the new philosophies of football, and that is great for someone like me.”
Tubbs is still under contract at Bournemouth, having signed in January 2012, and he has since been loaned out to Rotherham, Crawley and now the Dons.
But depending how the new season goes, Tubbs could be staying in south-west London when his contract on the south coast ends in 2015.
“Scoring goals for AFC Wimbledon is my priority right now, but if we can push on to the play-offs, have a successful season, who knows what might happen at the end,” he said.
“No one can predict the future, but I like the set up here and hopefully we’ll have a great season.”
Do it in blue: Matt Tubbs is mobbed after scoring against the Dons in 2010 - now he wants to do the same in a blue shirt
While Tubbs has more than 100 goals to his name, the striker is quick to point out that he is only as good as the team around him.
And he was clearly surrounded by good players in his first spell at the Broadfield stadium when he banged in 58 goals in just 74 appearances.
He said: “I play off the shoulder of the defender, and I’ve fortunately always had that ability to second guess where a ball will go and react quicker than a defender.
“I am not the tallest or strongest of players, so having that quick reaction is essential.”
He added: “But it is not an individual thing, a striker is only as good as the players around him and I have been fortunate to have played alongside some excellent players.
“That is what I’m hoping to achieve at AFC Wimbledon, I want to score the goals that get the team up the table.”
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