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Karl: Proud of youngsters

14 November 2012

Manager Karl Robinson hailed Dele Alli the Dons’ own Steven Gerrard after the 16-year-old netted the fifth goal in the 6-1 victory over Cambridge City on Tuesday night.

Manager Karl Robinson hailed Dele Alli the Dons’ own Steven Gerrard after the 16-year-old netted the fifth goal in the 6-1 victory over Cambridge City on Tuesday night.

A brace from Shaun Williams and goals from Jay O’Shea, Dean Bowditch, Alli and Adam Chicksen saw the Dons safely through into the second round of the FA Cup with Budweiser where Robinson’s side will meet AFC Wimbledon for the first time.

But the main positive for the Dons boss was seeing five members of the youth-team set-up, both past and present, play a part in a game that is sure to live long in the memory for all who witnessed it.

Speaking after the game, Robinson praised the work of the Academy and in particular Alli, after he made his first start for the Club.

He said: “It’s quite fitting that on the eve of Steven Gerrard winning his 100th cap for England, we witness the birth of our own starlet in Dele Alli. Those fans that were in the stadium tonight witnessed a very talented footballer take centre stage.

“He’s a tremendous talent and a very gifted footballer. He’s not ready to start in League game just yet and he’s got 12 hard months of development ahead of him but we’ve got to make sure we look after him and promote him in the right way.

“I am proud of the fact that youngsters keep coming through the youth system and into the first team – it means so much to me. I remember a piece being written about us last year on how young our team was so it’s also nice to see that others are taking not and caring about these players coming through.

“We’re still very young as a Football Club so we want to make sure we can keep bringing more and more players through the system and it’s great on nights like tonight where it all comes off.

“Myself, Mike Dove and Dan Micciche work hard together to make sure this continues and we have a strong communication which is important.

“Obviously the rest of the game was important but I’m just so proud of the young players and I’m ecstatic for them. It was great to see.”

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