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Cheltenham Town: Bennett joins Dons

By JPEchoRobins  |  Posted: February 01, 2013

Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett

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Former Cheltenham Town captain Alan Bennett has joined AFC Wimbledon until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old central defender underwent a medical at Kingsmeadow earlier this afternoon before penning a deal with the League Two strugglers, who are managed by Neal Ardley.

Bennett made 73 appearances during his season and a half at Cheltenham, all them as skipper, scoring twice.

He missed the start of this term through injury, but returned to help Cheltenham establish themselves as promotion contenders for the second season in succession.

But a downturn in form around Christmas led to boss Mark Yates favouring Keith Lowe over former Ireland international Bennett, who made his last appearance against Everton in last month's televised FA Cup third round tie.

Yates has since brought in two loan defenders from Premier League clubs in the shape of Luke McCullough from Manchester United and Michael Hector from Reading.

Bennett was told he did not feature in Yates' plans and made the reluctant decision to leave.

A full interview with Bennett, reflecting on his time at Cheltenham Town, can be read on thisisgloucestershire.co.uk from tomorrow morning.

Dons boss Neal Ardley told the club's official website: “Alan has had promotions in his career and he captained Cheltenham to the play-off final last season.

“After speaking to Cheltenham manager Mark Yates and he told me he was going in a different direction with a couple of younger players now. Alan has come highly recommended.

"We have watched a lot of footage of him in action and he does not make too many bad decisions. He is a leader and has the qualities that were too good for us to turn down for the rest of this season and hopefully longer.”

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  • robdoxf  |  February 01 2013, 9:58PM

    I've always felt that MY has earned the managerial right not to have every decision queried by those of us with no managerial experience. And perhaps tomorrow's interview with AB will shed some light on the murky events of his relationship with MY in recent months. But after tomorrow's game I think the club owes the fans some transparency about why the captain, whom MY was so keen to retain after Wembley 2012, is persona non grata eight months later. Anyone who has attended more than a handful of games in the last 2 years has seen that any centre back partnership other than Bennett and Elliott has struggled. Putting your faith in KL and 2 rookies to support SE is puzzling. What aren't we being told here?

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