Fleetwood Town’s play-off mauling at AFC Wimbledon two years ago was the making of the club – says former strike ace Gareth Seddon.
The 32-year-old, now at AFC Halifax Town, scored the only goal of Town’s 8-1 aggregate thumping at the hands of the Dons, who went on to win promotion to the Football League that season.
The tables are turned on Saturday, when Fleetwood visit the Cherry Red Records Stadium – a win for Graham Alexander’s men will see Wimbledon relegated.
It’s not something Seddon wants to see – even if he would love his former club to finish their first League campaign on a high.
“I’m torn,” he admits. “There’s no bad blood between the sides.
“We don’t take what happened personally.
“It would be sad to see Wimbledon go down.
“They came up through the leagues and set an example for others.
“The league needs clubs like Wimbledon but at the same time I want to see Fleetwood finish well.”
And Seddon insists the Dons played a crucial part in Fleetwood Town’s own journey to the Football League.
“We were battered that night,” he recalled.
“It showed the massive gulf between the sides – that we weren’t ready.
“Micky Mellon told us what we saw in Wimbledon was the standard required of us. He told us that was the quality needed to make it into the league.
“That summer we strengthened and next season we won the title.”
Seddon has lost none of his golden touch in front of goal, bagging 21 for Halifax this season.
And he’s kept a close eye on his former team-mates on the Lancashire coast.
“I’m still in touch with my friends over there, people like Jamie McGuire and Andy Mangan.
“It’s a shame I’ve had to play so much this season – I’ve not been able to get over and see a game.
“I’m not sure I’d feel so comfortable doing that now with Micky Mellon gone.”
But the striker predicts big things for his former club.
He said: “They’ve done so well in this first season. They were in with a chance of automatic at one point.
“To be around the play-off places for so long was good to see. They just couldn’t stay up there. It’s been a massive learning curve, like our first in the Conference.
“With the backing of the chairman and the manager they have, I expect they will move on again next season and challenge.”
Would he love to still be part of it? “Of course,” joked Seddon.
“I didn’t choose to leave. It was down to the money.
“If someone said tomorrow, ‘Do you want £30,000 to play League football with your mates?’ I’d jump at it.
“But I know that money is better spent.
“We’re in the play-offs here at Halifax, I’m fit again and hopefully I’ll be playing Conference Premier football next season.”