Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pre Season Round Up Part One

Pete Winkelman getting his Honorary Doctorate from the Open University.

So as the new season approaches and a season which will see my blogs take an
"as an when" type feel with no regular blogs as such.
I will be commenting on news stories about the Dons rather than the usual weekly or monthly blogs I did previously as they took a lot of time and effort and were done originally for the forums.
Dean Bowditch after the QPR game M.O.T.M
In the first of my pre season blogs I'll start with a familiar theme.
That being injuries and as the team returned to training we learnt after his Wedding and honeymoon Bowditch was ruled out of any matches to be played in Ireland as he had had an operation on his groin ,Im sure it was nothing to do with his nuptials but who knows !

The team were at Woughton before they left for Ireland and I saw and spoke to most of them and Karl who told me he was still trying to get Bamford and a winger on loan.
The Dons hit the beach on Sat 29 June 2013 after arriving in Dublin the day before.
The results of the pre season games in reverse order were
Brackley Town 1-2 Win
Leighton Town 2-4 Win
Newport Pagnell 0-4 Win
Birmingham City 1-4 behind closed doors in Ireland Win
UCD 2-2 Draw
ST James Gate 0-2 Win

The away games against Plymouth Argyle and Barnet and the two home games I'll cover in Part Two.

In player news as Karl hoped we got Patrick Bamford on a youth loan until early January.
And in the good old Dons tradition of having shed loads of mid-fielders Ben Reeves penned a one year deal with the Dons two months after he was let go by Premier League outfit Southampton leading some to speculate Paul Mitchell might have had a hand in deal.

Ben is a talented central midfielder and received a lot of interest during the summer but chose a move to the Dons to work under manager Robbo.
Speaking to Reeves said: “I’m delighted. You can see straight away, with the infrastructure, this is an up-and-coming club and I’m excited to be here.
“I’ve only been here for a day and I’ve already seen the quality of the team and hopefully I can add to that. Karl Robinson has shown faith in me by bringing me here and so I’m looking forward to repaying him too.” Reeves made his first appearance in a Dons shirt in the friendly against Leighton Town the same afternoon he penned his contract.

After the Brackley game Crystal Palace winger Jason Banton joined MK Dons on loan until January so for those who were dreading Balanta coming back fear not this is the winger Karl wanted.
Adam Chicksen
As I thought Adam Chicksen did not sign his new contract and joined the seagulls in Brighton a comment I saw interested me when Adam said "I've got to say a special thanks to, obviously, the Chairman and Karl who have instilled the philosophy which has changed the way MK Dons is viewed. Mike Dove, John Gorman and even Gary Waddock more recently as well, if wasn't for them and all their hard-work I wouldn't be where I am today.

I found it interesting as Adam never mentioned Mick Harford now I could add my two penneth but those of you who have read my blogs have probably read between the lines regarding my thoughts on Mick as a coach.
As most of us knew he would Gary MacKenzie left to join Paul Ince in Blackpool saying to before he left "When I came down here at 24 I was still learning the game in my position and I think I have improved Karl is a good manager and the way we play football would improve anybody especially the boys at the back as it really tests you. The way that this Club plays has really improved me as a footballer.” so another nice comment from a departing player and for those cynics who say well he would say that Id say no he could have just gone.
When Gary first arrived in Milton Keynes a lot of fans felt it was a gamble as he arrived on the back of a long term knee injury and although he had graduated from the Glasgow Rangers academy he was untested in English football but he adapted well and apart from the odd head butt and short temper he was a good servant to the club. I liked Gary he was one of those guys that although about twenty years younger than me seemed older certainly than his years with his serious demeanour and he always looked quite intimidating but he was always friendly and always spoke with the fans if you had the nerve to speak to him lol .

Also we saw Ryan Lowe depart and join Tranmere Rovers causing some of fans to say how stupid it was to give him to a rival ! WTF

Now quite what the fans that moaned don't understand about him leaving for personal reasons is beyond me !

Without going into the details Ryan needed to be back near his family for yes you guessed "personal reasons" In an ideal world he would have happily stayed but he couldn't that is why the club released him from his contract.

Yes Tranmere got him free when they should really have paid but that's business and an unhappy Ryan would have been no good for us and it was the right thing to do by the club.
No it was not a mistake by Karl or the club it was just that he needed to be back with his family.

Another departure was Matt Doumbe who seemed to not be a Robbo favourite despite playing some M.O.T.M performances when called upon I'll miss him as he was a real gentleman and all round nice bloke a real pleasure to talk to as well.

In other news Dan Micciche left Milton Keynes Dons to take up a position with The Football Association. The 34 year old will join The FA in August to become Coach and Player Development Technical Lead (Under-12s-Under-16s) which is a great loss as Dan was great with the youngsters and had them playing a great style of football.
Dan joined the Club from Tottenham Hotspur in October 2007 and initially worked on a part time basis with the Under-9 and Under-12s but then took control of coaching for the Under-9s and Under-16s.

In his six years with the Dons Dan and Director of Youth Mike Dove have developed a programme which has seen 11 schoolboys receive international recognition.

Good luck to all those that have left the club and I wish them all well in their new careers.

The blog site has been receiving on average over six hundred hits close season mostly direct to site so I know it is still popular despite not being advertised anywhere other than my feeble attempts on twitter so thanks to all you regular readers and hope the new format will still keep your interest.

Edit: Due to a complaint by MKDSA regarding the above comment I have since found out that the MKDSA have a link on their site under feature's tab there is a drop down option where a links options can be found my blog and other links are there.

In my defence it was something I did not know about and can barely be called an "advertisement" for the blog.. just a link.

Sorry for any offence caused to the MKDSA since the SA site has been upgraded I have had no traffic or hits from it so was unaware of link.

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