AFC Wimbledon's Brown is ready to fight for the number one shirt, come the summer

AFC Wimbledon's Seb Brown on being dropped, Neil Sullivan and going out on loan

Thinking positive: Seb Brown is ready to fight for his number one shirt when he returns from any loan spell

Tough times: The 1-0 defeat to Torquay in September spelt the end of the line for Terry Brown and would eventually lead to Seb Brown losing his place in the team

First published in Sport Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

Should AFC Wimbledon goalkeeper Seb Brown go out on loan, he is determined to return in the summer to fight for his number one shirt.

The 23-year-old, a veteran of 126 Dons’ appearances and penalty-saving hero of the famous play-off win at Wembley, was dropped by Neal Ardley in November after a run of poor performances.

Since then, Brown has been working hard on the training pitch with, ironically, Neil Sullivan - the man brought in to replace him.

Now Ardley feels the time is right for Brown to go out on loan to get first team action, and the shot-stopper is committed to the idea.

“Being dropped was, in hindsight, perhaps the best thing that could have happened to me,” Brown said.

“At the time I was really disappointed. I didn't feel like a scapegoat for where we were in the table, but it was a bitter pill to swllow.

"However, the boss talked to me about the decision, said I should have a break away from the first team and that this was not the start of me being shipped out for good.

“I have to trust Neal on that and I do. I also have to trust him even more now that I am will be going out on loan.”

He added: “After talking to Neal, I knew I wouldn’t let my head drop despite being disappointed.

"To be fair, the last thing the lads on the training pitch need, especially when we’re fighting relegation, is me moping around the place, bringing everyone down.

“My role in training has changed. When I was playing I would be getting the massages and treatment in preparation for matches.

“Now I am more of a facilitator – if any of the lads want extra shooting practice, I’m there, if Neil [Sullivan] or Mikhael [Jaimez-Ruiz] want to run some extra goalkeeping routines, I’m there.

“And I am happy doing that, it helps me to still feel part of the set up and match day experience.

"I might not be able to contribute on the pitch, but if I can help the lads prepare in the best possible way, that's great.”

Unlike his former team-mate Christian Jolley who went out on loan to Newport County and is on the verge of a permanent move to south Wales, Brown is hoping to stay closer to home – and with good reason.

Sutton-born Brown said: “The ideal scenario would be to on loan as a number one keeper, but being able to still train at AFC Wimbledon.

“It is not very often you get the chance to train with someone such as Neil Sullivan. He has so much experience and advice to give, I would be mad to turn my back on it. Having him around is such a bonus.

“There is no point in me going to a club as a number two. Chances are the number one keeper would not have half the experience Neil has.”

Although Brown, who was brought to Kingsmeadow from Brentford by Terry Brown in 2009, has an idea on the desired location of any loan move, he believes his choices of the standard he plays at is out of his hands.

“I can only see a loan spell dropping me down a level,” he said.

“But I am comfortable with that as long as it is to a number one spot. It’s part and parcel of football and, although this is slightly different, I took a step down to join AFC Wimbledon and that worked out well enough.

“It is a case of taking one step back for two steps forward. I am ready for that, I just need to speak with my agent and find out what is out there.”

Brown added: “But whatever happens, I know I will come back a stronger and better player, and I will be ready to fight for my place in Neal’s team.

“Hopefully that will be for a place in a team still playing in League Two, and there is no reason why that should not be the case.”

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