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One in, one out

And one suspects the transfers are finally about to get going…

So, goodbye Jack Rudoni. And hello Kyle “Skyscraper” Hudlin. Just in time for tomorrow against Ipswich.

At least we’ve got somebody who might know where the net is now. Even if we have to let Heathrow ATC know he’s playing, so they can redirect the planes on final approach.

More on him later. Before that, Rudoni leaving was the worst kept secret of this close season so far.

Being linked with Sunderland and Luton, before finally settling on west Yorkshire, always meant he wouldn’t start the season in SW17.

That he was AWOL at all the PSFs, and reportedly training on his own the rest of the time, always marked his card.

From our point of view, the most important thing is what we get for him, and it sounds a good deal.

Neither ourselves or Huddersfield are disclosing the fee, but the rumour mill suggests it’s somewhere between £600k and £800k.

In this case, it’s probably a bit lower but with add-ons, which may prove to be worth their weight in future.

It’s a shame that one of the few players who openly gave a toss last season is now gone, but that’s life in the lower tiers.

The money is good, obviously, and this has two other effects.

The first is that it should motivate the likes of Assal, who has seen a fellow youngster go to the Championship.

While he’s probably a year behind him, if JJ and co have any sense they’ll tell him he could be the next one off the AFCW conveyor belt.

It’s up to him to take it.

The second is that it makes having a youth setup worthwhile.

I have to be honest, the AFCW hype machine over-states how good the youngsters are too often.

After yet another load of “best new crop ever” hyperbole fails to match the reality, I do sometimes think we’d be best scrapping the whole thing.

When you see Rudoni go for a lot of money though, you see the reasons for keeping it. Up to 800,000 of them, in fact.

In reality, players like our now-departed midfielder are few and far between, at the best of times.

Today was the first time since the WFC days of the early 2000s where the proverbial one-of-our-own goes for decent money.

No, we’ll never get the amounts we conned Newcastle over Carl Cort again, unless we found ourselves in the Championship.

And Rudoni was never worth more than a million. But somehow, it all seems a bit more worth it this afternoon…

Focus now turns to a player who has passed Rudoni on the way down the M1.

At 6ft9, Hudlin is a tall fucker it has to be said. The biggest in British football, apparently, and perhaps even one of the tallest anywhere.

Insert joke about the traditional Wimbledon style of play here.

He’s 22 (in years, not feet), signed for Huddersfield’s B-team from Solihull, and according to the Terriers website, there’s a break clause in January.

We have a temporary Head of Football bod in until February. Let’s hope he’s already planning for Hudlin’s successor.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve got somebody from the very club that we’ve just sold a player to.

Indeed, their Academy manager has just hinted as much as that. I quote:

“We’ve watched a lot of AFC Wimbledon as a club in our recruitment process on Jack Rudoni, so we’re very familiar with how they play. That made them a standout candidate for Kyle’s next step, and we’re happy to complete this move today.

Like Sam Cosgrove, his goalscoring record isn’t special (played 26, scored five – including in the playoff final to Grimsby).

Unlike Sam Cosgrove, he does have a use – those who have seen the club’s highlight reel of him say he holds the ball up well and lets others join in the action.

Mind you, if some of the quality of crosses at Farnborough were anything to go by – he would struggle to connect to them if he was twice as tall.

Some will moan that he’s a loan striker without the relevant League experience, and he has the air of a typical signing in recent years.

One hopes he’s more a Forss than most of the others who have been here since then.

You do sense this isn’t the last of the incoming players though.

We have money from Rudoni now, and I think the club knows it’s run out of excuses when it comes to transfers.

We also have decent funds from season ticket sales, and with more spending power as a L2 side as well.

The new season is only a fortnight away, and until this afternoon patience was effectively running out at lack of signings.

Even now, we’re still trialling a few players. Josh Parker played the last 20 minutes on Tuesday, and if he features against Ipswich tomorrow we can assume he’s staying.

A couple of other triallists played, including the guy who scored our penalty and somebody else in the first half.

Will they sign? Probably not, though you never quite know what’s in store.

JJ himself seems quite keen on Assal, and maybe with him, Hudlin and one or more of the triallists we might not splash out on a striker after all.

In truth, I expect we’ll get somebody else in, probably alongside Parker as well. I don’t doubt there’s decent goalscorers around who are within genuine reach of us.

JJ has played a waiting game up until now, and we’ve got three players who should genuinely improve things.

And who knows – get the right player in and maybe the aim of a L1 return might not be so fanciful after all…

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