With Wimbledon getting off to a poor start to the campaign, naturally, fingers have been pointed at the Dons’ largely in-experienced backline, with the South London side having kept only one clean sheet in all competitions this season.
Centre back is an area in which the Dons are well stocked in terms of personnel, with the likes of captain Will Nightingale, Rod McDonald, Paul Kalambayi, Terrell Thomas and Ryan Delaney providing different qualities that suit Wally Downes’ preferred three at the back system.
With competition being so fierce, the Dons have chosen to loan out young centre half Reuben Collins to Basingstoke Town.
Here, we take a look at THREE benefits that this move could have for the 18-year-old …
Increased game time
With the Dons currently without a victory in both league and cup this season, now is not the time for Collins to be thrown in at the deep end.
Going on loan into non-league will allow the six foot, five inch youngster to gain vital experience of playing regular men’s football, with the 18-year-old yet to have made his professional debut for the club since signing his first professional contract back in April this year.
Improved ball-playing skills
This loan spell will help to aid the development of Collins’ abilities when in possession of the ball, with AFC Wimbledon Loan-Manager Mark Robinson commenting on the need for the young defender to improve his ball playing abilities upon the signing of his professional contract.
This is definitely an area of the 18-year-old’s game that needs improving with Wimbledon playing a back three that spends large amounts of time in possession of the ball, due to Downes’ insistence on bypassing his midfield three with long balls from the centre backs up to the front two.
Influence of Terry Brown
The presence of former Wimbledon manager Terry Brown in the role of Chairman at Basingstoke will no doubt prove useful in Collins development, with the experienced Brown always available to pass on helpful advice to the youngster.
Whilst in addition to this, Brown still maintains a strong relationship with the powers that be at Kingsmeadow, further helping to strengthen communication between the respective clubs when updating Wimbledon about Collins’ progress during his loan spell.