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AFC Wimbledon: 21st in Sky Bet League Two, to 10th in Sky Bet League One - four years of Neal Ardley

10 October 2016

10th October 2012 - Neal Ardley was appointed as AFC Wimbledon's new manager.

He was a name well-known to the Dons fans having made almost 250 appearances as a player between 1991 and 2002, and impressed the board with his coaching and leadership skills which led to his hiring.

It's been an eventful 4 years since Neal took over, but what's been your best match of his reign?

— AFC Wimbledon (@AFCWimbledon) October 10, 2016

The team were 21st in Sky Bet League Two at the time of his appointment and it proved to be a season of struggle.

The Dons were in the thick of a relegation battle going into the final day, but a win over Fleetwood Town saw Ardley's men stay up at the expense of Aldershot Town and Barnet.

Fast forward four years to today, the anniversary of his appointment, and AFC Wimbledon are flourishing in English football’s third tier following their historic promotion via the Sky Bet League Two Play-Offs last season.

They lie 10th after 12 games, winning 3-1 at Oxford United on Matchday 12, which was the latest of his 72 victories as the Dons boss.

"Progressive," Ardley 44, told when describing his time at the helm.

"Keeping them up in the first season was the biggest challenge, and it'll be one of the biggest things I ever do in my career, but where we've gone since has been really progressive."

The victory over Oxford was another milestone in the history of AFC Wimbledon and Ardley, as they had failed to overcome the U's in their previous 12 meetings, but the manager - the seventh longest-serving boss in the EFL - isn't getting ahead of himself.

Neal Ardley's AFC Wimbledon record

Pl: 208
W: 72
D: 60
L: 76
W%: 34.6

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