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Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Tuesday, 24 May 2011 13:47 UK

Dario Gradi welcomes AFC Wimbledon to Football League

AFC Wimbledon captain Danny Kedwell lifts the play-off trophy
AFC Wimbledon captain Danny Kedwell lifts the play-off trophy at Eastlands

Crewe manager Dario Gradi has said it is "terrific" that AFC Wimbledon have been promoted to the Football League.

Gradi managed Wimbledon FC for three years and made a donation to AFC Wimbledon when they formed in 2002.

"It's terrific, although I've only got a vague association with them now," the 69-year-old told BBC Radio Stoke.

"I had no feeling for the club that went to Milton Keynes, but I've watched the rise of AFC Wimbledon with interest and I'm really pleased for them."

Gradi took charge of Wimbledon in January 1978, during the club's first season in the Football League, and won promotion to the Third Division in his first campaign in charge.

Relegation followed the next season, and Gradi left in January 1981 to join Crystal Palace.

Wimbledon were granted permission to relocate to Milton Keynes in 2002 - and were ultimately rebranded Milton Keynes Dons - resulting in Wimbledon's fans forming a new club, AFC Wimbledon.

AFC Wimbledon completed their remarkable nine-year journey to the Football League on Saturday, defeating Luton Town on penalties in the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final at Eastlands.

Meanwhile, Gradi remains pessimistic about the possibility of striker Clayton Donaldson and winger Byron Moore staying with Crewe.

Both have been offered new contracts to stay at Gresty Road.

"I'm not sure that anyone has made Clayton a concrete offer yet," added the Crewe manager.

"I think Byron has to let us know fairly soon as to what his intentions are, but the radar has gone quiet on him.

"He won't be holding out for a better offer from us because he knows there won't be one, and the same goes for Clayton.

"I'm not really confident on either of them coming back."

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see also
Boss Brown hails Dons 'fan power'
23 May 11 |  AFC Wimbledon
AFC W'don 0-0 Luton (4-3 on pens)
22 May 11 |  Non League
Gradi planning to avoid burn-out
23 May 11 |  Crewe
Gradi wants Premier League loans
18 May 11 |  Crewe
Grant one of eight to leave Crewe
12 May 11 |  Crewe
Gradi coy on future of Donaldson
04 May 11 |  Crewe
Donaldson crowned player of year
01 May 11 |  Crewe

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