Alexander hangs up his boots with a great prophecy for AFC Wimbledon fans

Header of a hero: Fleetwood Town keeper Tom Davies can only watch as Gary Alexander’s header opens the scoring in the  eventual 2-1 win that kept AFC Wimbledon in League Two in 2012    					             SP73108

Header of a hero: Fleetwood Town keeper Tom Davies can only watch as Gary Alexander’s header opens the scoring in the eventual 2-1 win that kept AFC Wimbledon in League Two in 2012 SP73108

First published in Sport Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

After a career spanning 10 years, striker Gary Alexander knows a thing or two about scoring goals, meaning his prophecy for next season is great news for AFC Wimbledon.

The 34-year-old announced this week that he is hanging up his professional boots after 652 appearances and 184 goals.

One of those goals came in Dons’ vital end of season win over Fleetwood Town in 2012 that maintained their League Two status – and propelled him to legendary status at the Cherry Red Records stadium.

And by having long stints at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Brentford and Crawley on his CV, there are few players Alexander has not come up against – including the Dons summer acquisitions.

He said: “Neal [Ardley] has made some excellent signings, especially up front.

“I’ve played alongside Matt Tubbs and I know he is an out and out goal-scorer, I was excited for Dons when I heard they had signed him.

“I played against Adebayo Akinfenwa and he is not just a powerful and massively built man, he will get goals.

“He is always very difficult to defend against because he is so powerful and he causes all manner of problems.

“It is probably the best front two in the league, and together I believe they will get the goals that could see Dons into the play-offs.”

He added: “Getting Mark Phillips is another excellent signing, and I know that alongside Andy Frampton and Alan Bennett, they will be tough to score against.

“Benno is a born leader, and Andy and Mark are so experienced, that back line will be very strong.”

Alexander’s time at Dons was short and sweet, and he counts helping them stay in the Football League among the highlights in his career.

Those highlights also include a sensational 45-yard strike while playing for Millwall at Wembley in the 2009 League One play-off final.

BANG: Gary Alexander may have ended up on the losing side with Millwall at Wembley in 2009, but no one can take away from him this stunning strike

He said: “People go on about that goal, and it is something that no one can take away from me, but people forget we lost on the day [2-3 to Scunthorpe].

“When I joined the Dons we were something like six points adrift, so achievements like keeping them in League Two are right up there.

“I knew Neal from our time at Millwall together, and I became very good friends with Simon Bassey, so keeping them where they should be was great for me.”

Alexander has not turned his back on football completely and has set the telephones in non-League football ringing red hot by declaring he wants to play at Skrill South or Ryman League level.

With a family, including four children, and a new career in property development on the horizon, he is looking for part-time action.

“I want to spend more time with my family, and football will not last forever, so this seems the right time to make the break from full-time,” he said.

“But I still need to get myself that football buzz from somewhere and so I’m hoping to play non-League somewhere. I don’t want to stop completely just yet.”

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