Gayle hopes to have left Dons legacy
Marcus Gayle has not ruled out one day returning to AFC Wimbledon despite leaving to manage Staines Town this week, writes Graham Moody.
The Dons legend played for both the old Wimbledon and AFC Wimbledon in his career before hanging up his boots in 2008 and taking over management duties of the Dons reserve side.
But now, the 41-year-old has decided to spread his wings and try his hand at managing a senior side at Blue Square South Staines but will keep an eye on events at Kingsmeadow.
“It was always going to be a tough decision to leave,” he said.
“I have had 12 years collectively at Wimbledon with the latest being five great years of involvement in the new set-up, but I had to look at my own ambitions as a manager.
“I am very close to Wimbledon and I have made a lot of great friends there, that will not change.
“I will keep the club close to my heart and I must thank the fans, they made me feel so welcome when I returned for a second time and it was an easy decision to come back to Wimbledon when I did.
“I am sure our paths will cross again.
“You never know what will happen in the future, but right now I am concentrating on developing my management in many areas.”
Gayle made 236 appearances in his first spell at the club between 1994 and 2001 before becoming Terry Brown’s first signing as manager in 2007 – when he played another 29 times for the Dons before working with the reserves.
“I have been in charge of the reserves for four seasons and I have taken great pride in my work,” he added.
“Helping players progress towards the first-team and develop as players has been very encouraging from my perspective.
“Hopefully, the players I have left behind will make the step-up if they are given the opportunity.
“The next step for me though is to get involved in first-team football and with this opportunity having come along, it is a great new challenge.
“I have tried to learn from every manager that I have played under and I have worked under some great ones.
“I have taken little bits of good and bad things from them and I want to develop my own management style.”