Jack Rudoni the WDSA Player of the Season

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THERE wasn’t much to cheer last season — Wimbledon did not win a league game after the turn of the year as they tumbled out of League One — but there was near total agreement that Jack Rudoni was the standout for the WDSA Player of the Season.

The Wimbledon Academy product netted 12 goals and seven assists in a relegated team and scooped the club’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year honours.

It was fitting that 21-year-old Rudoni would become AFC Wimbledon’s record transfer in his summer move to Huddersfield Town in the Championship.  He signed a four-year deal with a year’s extension for the Terriers. Wimbledon will do quite handsomely out of the deal.

Rudi polled 90 votes — comprising 16 major votes. He won the award by a yawning 54 votes from the next best and fellow young star Ayoub Assal.

“I have been at Wimbledon since the age of 11 and made my first team debut in December 2019 at the age of 18,” Rudoni said in the official confirmation of his transfer.

“I have loved playing for this team and am proud and grateful of the relationship I have built with our fans, and will never forget the support you have given me as a young professional. I am really looking forward to the next stage in my career at Huddersfield Town.”

Rudoni began his football in the Crystal Palace Academy  before joining the Dons. He progressed through the age groups before making his first appearance on a senior bench in a League One game at Southend United on March 2019, aged just 17.

Undoubtedly, Rudoni’s departure weakens the Dons but the record deal underlines the strength and vital importance of the club’s Academy to produce players who become assets for the first team.

New manager Johnnie Jackson said of Rudoni: “He’s a top young player that I’m sure will go on to have a great career. He came through our Academy system, so naturally we’re very proud to be producing young players of a high quality.”

Rudoni’s fellow Academy teammate Assal finished second with 36 votes in the WDSA POTS with skipper Alex Woodyard third with 30.

WDSA Player of the 2021/22

Season voting:

90 — JACK RUDONI

36 —  Ayoub Assal

30— Alex Woodyard

7 — Luke McCormick

5 —Ben Heneghan, Ashlee Hincks, George Marsh

3 — Will Nightingale

1 — Ollie Palmer

WDSA PLAYER OF THE SEASON WINNERS:

PAST WINNERS: 1986-87 JOHN FASHANU; 1987-88 JOHN FASHANU; 1988-89 DENNIS WISE; 1989-90 HANS SEGERS; 1990-91 JOHN FASHANU; 1991-92 ROBBIE EARLE; 1992-93 JOHN SCALES; 1993-94 DEAN HOLDSWORTH; 1994-95 WARREN BARTON; 1995-96 OYVIND LEONHARDSEN; 1996-97 CHRIS PERRY; 1997-98 MICHAEL HUGHES; 1998-99 JASON EUELL; 1999-2000 NEIL SULLIVAN; 2000-01 KELVIN DAVIS; 2001-02 KENNY CUNNINGHAM; 2002-03 KEVIN COOPER (AFCW); 2003-04 MATT EVERARD; 2004-05 RICHARD BUTLER; 2005-06 ANDY LITTLE; 2006-07 ANTONY HOWARD; 2007-08 JASON GOODLIFFE; 2008-09 BEN JUDGE; 2009-10 DANNY KEDWELL; 2010-11 SEB BROWN; 2011-12 JACK MIDSON; 2012-13 JACK MIDSON; 2013-14 BARRY FULLER; 2014-15 JAMES SHEA.; 2015-16 PAUL ROBINSON; 2016-17 TOM ELLIOT; 2017-18 DEJI OSHILAJA; 2018-19 WILL NIGHTINGALE; 2019-20 MARCUS FORSS; 2020-21 JOE PIGOTT