Two Dons battle it out to be in the FA Cup 3rd Round
AFC Wimbledon travel to MK Dons in what will be the biggest FA Cup second round tie ever. There will be just as much publicity as that of the Final on the 11th May 2013.
To call it a derby game is ignoring the views of AFC Wimbledon fans who barely recognise MK Dons as a club.
Arsenal V Tottenham, Manchester City V Manchester United, Everton V Liverpool, these are derby games because despite sharing a hatred for each other they do not begrudge the other team’s very existence.
Fans of Wimbledon in the 90s, despite seeing dwindling attendances and rumours of the threat of possible closure, could not have predicted the farce of what was set to happen.
I am not going to go into a history lesson of how a once proud side has split into two, one being formed on the pride of the supporters, starting up a team on Wimbledon Common, and the other a franchise formed by a businessman uprooting and heading to Buckinghamshire.
When it was announced the two teams would face each other, it seemed that the footballing gods had got their way, the game is going to take the whole country by storm.
When fans of AFC Wimbledon pledged they would boycott the game I thought this was crazy, this was surely a game you would be pumped up for and would love nothing more than to get behind your team and show what you are made of?
The best way for me to get this into perspective was to imagine if it had happened to my team. That my beloved team had been completely broken up and moved miles away, yes I would still support the club but in the same respect of those who call themselves AFC.
Travelling to the game AFC fans would not only be recognising the franchise as legitimate but also lining their pockets, the same very ones which broke their heart, a cause which justifiably would result in skipping the clash.
Understandably you don’t want to see them gain profit but, at the same time this historic event would have to be one that my very own eyes had seen and cheered my team on against what would be the devil.
In what has been dubbed the grudge match of the decade, I speak on behalf of all football fans when I say there can only be one winner. A handful of MK Dons fans obviously want to see their ‘new’ team progress in the cup, but where would these fans be today if it wasn’t for the heartache and pain that their opponents had suffered ten years ago?
At the end of the day, even though I can try to imagine how Wimbledon fans feel, I can’t 100 per cent know the true feelings, however I feel they would be nuts if they boycotted this game.
AFC have shown true grit and determination, they have kept their historical home in South West London, in true Wimbledon fashion they have fought throughout the lower leagues, which if you measure against what MK have achieved it answers who have been the more successful team. AFC fans have kept faith and focus and continued to work with the fans, now it is the time for the fans of AFC to march up to Milton Keynes and show the footballing world who the real Wimbledon are.