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Familiar Faces: AFC Wimbledon

The common connections between us and The Dons

8 August 2017

Given their relative youth as a Football Club, the path between Griffin Park and the Cherry Red Records Stadium has been a well-trodded one in recent years with 32 players representing both The Bees and The Dons since the turn of the millennium.

The current Dons squad contains three former Brentford Youth products in the shape of Nik Tzanev, Seth Owens, and Darius Charles. Charles was the only one of the trio to feature for the first-team at Griffin Park, the defender making 42 appearances between 2005 and 2008, but he will be forced to watch on from the sidelines tonight after suffering a knee-injury in pre-season.

New Zealand international goalkeeper Nik and defender Seth have both been given squad numbers by Neal Ardley this season after leaving The Bees in 2016. Nik has yet to make his first-team bow while Seth made six appearances, three of them in League One, last season for AFC.

One man in the home dugout tonight who will be particularly well-known to Bees fans is The Dons Goalkeeping Coach Ashley Bayes. Ashley was another to come through the ranks at Griffin Park, making 12 appearances between 1990 and 1993, before embarking on a career which saw him win three FA Trophies, the Conference South, the Conference National, the League of Ireland, and a League Two Play-Off over a 25-year playing career before taking a coaching role with AFC in 2013.

Other men to represented both clubs include Jake Reeves, Marcus Gayle, Alan Bennett and Glenn Poole. Jake is one of the few men to have won promotion with both clubs, playing 25 games as The Bees were promoted to the Sky Bet Championship in 2014 and featuring all the way to Wembley as The Dons won the League Two Play-offs in 2016. While in 2008, Marcus, who will be on iFollow Brentford commentary tonight, became the first man to score for both Wimbledon and AFC Wimbledon when he netted in an FA Trophy tie. 

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