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Rudi’s return! Popular playmaker pencils in Plough Lane date

Extensive interview with Academy graduate

Jack Rudoni was first sewed into the fabric of Wimbledon from the age of 11 as a young boy who would go on to grow into a player with an abundance of talent.

Technically gifted and able to showcase a scoring touch far beyond his years, ‘Rudi’ quickly shone in our Academy before earning his step up to first-team level under our then manager Wally Downes.

It was under his old mentor, Mark Robinson, that he would really flourish, being given the license to showcase his talents alongside fellow youth graduate Ayoub Assal and the older, more experienced heads of Ollie Palmer and Joe Pigott.

The form he put together in the 2021/22 season attracted admiring glances from on high, leading to a big move to Huddersfield Town in the Championship as Jack bid a sad but thankful farewell to the Dons.


Now the midfielder is set to return to the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Saturday 8 June (7.30pm start), joining his former manager Neil Warnock for an ‘evening with’ event that is sure to be popular.

Speaking about the event, Rudi said: “Come down and make a real night of it. The gaffer (Neil Warnock) will keep you entertained for the duration of the event. Personally it’ll be great to see everyone as it will be the first time I’ve been back to Plough Lane since I left the Dons. I will use this as an opportunity to see the fans and say thank you for everything they’ve done for me. It should be a special night!”

Read our full interview with Jack down below as he takes us through his career to date.

How did it feel to leave the Dons after so many years with the Club?

It was a strange feeling. Having been with the Club for so long, it was all I had ever known. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience at Wimbledon but it was exciting to take on a new challenge and have a new place to call home. It was sad but a good step for me as it took me out of my comfort zone.

I started at the age of 11. I’ve experienced every feeling imaginable with the Club. The ups and the downs. I was very connected to its story after coming through the Academy ranks and I knew everyone inside out. It was strange to leave but it was the right time. I have so much love for the Club and still look out for the results. Wimbledon will be back in League One soon enough.

What was your best moment at Wimbledon?

The brace at Wycombe is a standout moment for me. But for me personally it has to be my full debut against Bristol Rovers. The game against Oxford United at home was also one to remember, the two goals I scored that day were my first at Plough Lane in front of the fans. That was an incredible feeling.

Another fond memory was the back end of the first season when Robbo (Mark Robinson) was in charge, it all clicked when me and Ayoub (Assal) ran off the back of Ollie (Palmer) and Pigs (Joe Pigott) – we scored so many goals off those two simply holding the ball up. It was one of the most enjoyable times of my career, despite playing behind closed doors. It was free flowing.

Who was your biggest inspiration during your time with us?

It would have to be Robbo. He did so much for me. He knew me from the day I joined and stuck with me all the way to the first-team. He oversaw my development and helped me improve in every aspect. Robbo following the same path into the first-team really helped me as I know how he works and what his values are.

On the playing side I have to mention Pigs. We were really close and he was a great mentor and friend to me. When I did something well he told me, when I did something bad he told me – on and off the pitch he would look out for me, I still speak to him now.

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