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The Sebastian Brown column: In, out, shake it all about

Let me first wish you all a happy new year.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas period and are ready to tackle 2012 with verve and gusto.

January. The first month of a new year. A population full of optimism and much talk of ‘fresh starts’. The football season is just over halfway through and the transfer window opens.

Managers get their chance to shuffle their pack and make any adjustments they wish to their squads. I’m sure there will be plenty of fantasy football managers doing likewise, though with somewhat more money than there is in League Two!

These changes often make January a month of uncertainty, excitement and a chance for the clichéd ‘fresh start’ for players. At Wimbledon we saw 5 of our colleagues placed on the transfer list and had signed 4 players just days later.

Sad to see team-mates leave

It is always sad to see team-mates and guys you were close with told they can leave, but most players accept this as part of the game. I am sure we will stay in some sort of contact with any of the guys that do leave.

After all, three were part of the side that got us promotion, but stranger things have happened than a player being transfer listed who then comes back to feature in their side’s first team again.

It’s an exciting time for the players who are moving to other clubs to get some game time or for a move to pastures new. The right signings can breathe new life into a club, so it is also an exciting time for everyone at the club.

The gaffer’s capture of Jason Euell, albeit on an initial month’s loan has certainly stirred the media and the fans’ excitement. It is good to have that feel good factor back after a disappointing run of form. Hopefully it can transfer to an energised and positive performance against Port Vale on Saturday.

Our other new signings include Billy Knott and George Moncur on initial one month loans from Sunderland and West Ham respectively.

Youthful exuberance

They bring a different type of energy, a kind of youthful exuberance, particularly George! I’m sure they’ll fit in to the group and enjoy their time with us and hopefully contribute to some good results along the way.

Callum McNaughton, who had been on loan earlier in the season, and Byron Harrison are our two permanent signings of the window.

We obviously know Callum from his time with us earlier and look forward to seeing what Byron can do, he’s clearly a very talented guy and hopefully he can reproduce some of that with us.

New players does provide a bit of a warning shot to us current members of the squad. There is now new competition for places and some people may find themselves having to bide their time and earn their game time. I know that all the boys in the squad want to play, but obviously there are only 11 starting jerseys.

The group at Wimbledon is a good group and I’m sure the boys will use the transfers and rumours as motivation to earn their shirt. With everyone pulling in the right direction we won’t be going too far wrong.

New signings

Though the influx of new signings does mean we will have an entertaining dinner tomorrow night at our hotel as similarly to many other clubs new signings all have to perform a little song as their initiation.

I’m sure Jason will use his experience to reel out a timeless classic. We’ve had to ban Wonderwall by Oasis because it was seen as the easy choice!

I’ve got no doubt George will have something up his tight rolled up sleeve! Byron and Billy have (sensibly) kept their heads down today on their first day so they roll in as unknown quantities.

We usually get the waiting staff to judge them to add a little X Factor spice to it. I’ll have to let you know who comes out on top next week. Just spare a thought for poor old Callum.

You may think as he has already sung he would be immune. But the rule at our place is if your loan turns permanent you have to sing again. I sincerely hope Cal will be bettering his truly awful rendition of Michael Jackson this time round.

A good read? What topics would you like to read about? Contact me on Twitter (@sebbrown1) or by email to

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