I’ll always play with a smile on my face – Chicksen

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ADAM Chicksen has described scoring his first senior goal as probably the second best moment of his career – only behind making his debut for Dons.

Having just turned 22 at the start of November, Chicksen has become more and more involved in Dons first-team action since he made his first senior appearance for the club in a League 1 game at Leicester City in August 2008, aged just 16.

Since then he’s gone on to feature more than 70 times in competitive games – including a couple on loan for Leyton Orient last season – but Tuesday night’s goal against Cambridge City was his first at senior level. And it meant a lot to him, especially because of the running joke he’s been having with the supporters about it.

“It was great to get the goal, especially after all the fans have been urging me on to get it,” he said. “It was great to share it with them.

“I’ve had chances before so I knew it was going to come. It was just a matter of time. I’ve been training hard and it was just the right time.

“Obviously I’ve been playing left-midfield, so the main thought for me is that, as soon as I get the ball, I want to go forward and look for a goal, or set someone up.

“So when I got it, I just thought I’d get at them, and luckily enough it opened up for me on my right foot. I’ve practiced on it, so I was confident enough to hit it.”

A lot of Chicksen’s appearances for Dons have come from the substitutes’ bench, and when he has started, he hasn’t always featured in his preferred full-back position. But just getting out on the grass is the main thing for him, and if he does continue to play higher up the pitch, then he wants more goals to show for it.

“At the moment I have to get the games where possible, so if I have to play left-midfield – which I don’t mind – then I’ll play there and do my job for the team,” said Chicksen, who was one of five former or current Dons academy players involved on Tuesday night.

“The confidence is always there, I just haven’t scored many goals. But in training I work hard to create a lot of opportunities, so hopefully I can turn more of them into goals.

“It’s up to me to put the performances in for the manager and hope he picks me. I’ll be trying my hardest to do that. I’ll always play with a smile on my face.

“That jubilation of getting the goal after waiting so long is one of my favourite moments, but making my debut at 16 is still up there for me. It was a massive achievement to play in front of 30,000 people at the Walkers Stadium.

“But then there’s no better feeling than scoring a goal, so that was great. And to score and celebrate it at that end with the fans – and for them to celebrate with me – was one of the best feelings.”

Although Chicksen’s goal against Cambridge City did go somewhat under the radar because of other stories to emerge from the FA Cup first round replay, it certainly didn’t go unnoticed by his team-mates, or his boss.

“It was really nice for him,” said Karl Robinson. “But we don’t judge his game by how many goals he scores, we judge it on performances week in, week out. And his performances are getting better and better, and stronger and stronger.

“It was good for him. Adam knows how much he means to me and the rest of the group. He’s a big asset to us.”

Meanwhile youth-team striker Giorgio Rasulo, who also featured against Cambridge, has been called up to the England U16 squad ahead of their Sky Sports Victory Shield match against Scotland.