June 16, 2024

Charlton v Havant

AFC Wimbledon announced a significant double transfer swoop on their official club website today, with both Josh Neufville and Omar Bugiel securing moves to the Dons to bolster Johnnie Jackson’s attacking options.

These two new signings will be welcomed with open arms by the Dons fanbase, after AFC Wimbledon fell to a disappointing 21st placed finish last campaign – only spared the gut punch of relegation by five points after all 46 games had been played.

This lowly League Two finish would have hurt even more after a number of successful League One campaigns prior, relegation from the third tier at the end of the 2021-22 season still clearly impacting the Dons.

Now, with the news of Neufville and Bugiel joining the club only a few weeks on from the conclusion of such an underwhelming campaign for Johnnie Jackson’s men, there’s some welcome positivity to latch onto again ahead of the next League Two season.

Who Is Josh Neufville?

Neufville joins AFC Wimbledon from Luton Town U21’s, with his contract expiring at the now Premier League bound Hatters officially at the start of July.

The 22-year-old – who was also born in Luton – has been loaned out various times in his fledgling career to date – playing at the likes of Solihull Moors, Woking and Sutton United.

His most impressive loan outing came during one of two spells at Yeovil Town, netting five goals in 30 appearances for The Glovers during the 2020-21 season.

AFC Wimbledon will hope they can awaken Neufville’s goalscoring edge when he puts on a Dons strip next campaign, a signing that holds significant promise if Neufville can get up and running early on.

Who Is Omar Bugiel?

Bugiel arrives into Plough Lane the more experienced out of the two brand new attacking signings, the 29-year-old has even been capped by Lebanon at International Level during his career in the game.

Last campaign, Bugiel managed to score six goals for Sutton United up top – his final contribution for the South Londoners coming against Bradford City away from home in a 3-1 defeat, the 29-year-old striker heading home a cross into the box for a consolation effort.

Sutton’s former number nine has also played for the likes of Forest Green and Worthing, the latter saw Bugiel burst onto the scene after rocking up ridiculous goalscoring numbers for the non-league side.

AFC Wimbledon will look to Bugiel as an experienced and steady head for next campaign, a smart acquisition especially considering the ex Forest Green attacker joins the Dons on a free transfer.

What Has Been Said?

AFC Wimbledon’s Head of Operations Craig Hope spoke highly of Neufville on the Dons club website right after the news of his signing was confirmed.

He said: “It’s been a great start to business for us and I believe that Josh (Neufville) is really going to suit what we’re trying to do here. We wanted to be proactive and be ahead of the game, so getting this deal done early is really pleasing.

“Johnnie Jackson and Terry Skiverton have both met him and gone through our plans for next season and Josh fits that bill. With Josh in now, we can start looking at other areas of the squad.”

Omar Bugiel, in a separate announcement on the official club website, spoke of his move to the Dons as a ‘straightforward’ decision to make.

He said: “I’m very excited and ready to go. The talks I had with the gaffer, combined with the plans the Club has and the stadium made it really straightforward.

“I like to think I’m a selfless, hardworking forward. I can do the dirty work by winning the ball up in the air, I can drop deep and get others involved – I can even help out the team defensively. The fans will see that I’ll give my best every game because I’m an honest player.”

Writer’s View 

AFC Wimbledon will have been delighted to get both of these bits of business done early and over the line to avoid any last minute scrambles to get deals done. 

Both Neufville and Bugiel have played plenty of minutes at League Two level recently, with both players in question – you imagine – buzzing to get going again when the Dons play again next campaign. 

Bugiel has arguably proven himself more over his career so will be expected to deliver in a Dons shirt from minute one. Whereas, the pressure will be off Neufville in comparison who hasn’t quite found his feet in the men’s game as of yet.  

Johnnie Jackson will hope he can add further signings to his Dons group, signings that he will hope can spearhead a successful promotion push back up to League One. 

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