BY RICHARD CAWLEY
AFC Wimbledon have confirmed Wally Downes as their new manager.
And the former Dons midfielder will have Glyn Hodges, who also played for the South London club, as his assistant boss.
First-team coach Simon Bassey, who had been in interim charge, continues as first-team coach but Steven Reid, who came in temporarily to boost their backroom team, has moved on.
“We conducted an exhaustive and rigorous process which started with over 80 applications for the role,” said AFC Wimbledon in a statement. “Wally Downes had the highest calibre coaching CV of any of the applicants and through two interviews outlined his strategy to increase the levels of performance required to ensure our key task of maintaining League One survival this season, whilst also continuing the legacy of our club on and off the pitch.
“We will be holding a ‘meet the manager’ session as soon as practical for fans to meet, or reacquaint themselves, with Wally and Glyn.
“During the recruitment process we became aware of some use of social media by Wally that is not consistent with our values. We have talked at length with Wally about this, who has accepted that these messages were ill-judged and he has assured us that they do not represent his views.
“In the light of these discussions, we are satisfied that these do not represent Wally’s views. We have agreed a series of actions with Wally that we believe will demonstrate his commitment to the club’s values.”
Downes said: “I am very proud to be appointed as manager of a club I love dearly. I apologise for my previous use of social media – my comments were meant to be humorous but on reflection they were a mistake.
“I am very aware of my responsibilities as Wimbledon’s manager and immensely proud to have been appointed. I am now looking forward to working flat out to help to keep the club in League 1.”