By Harley ThorneOver the next few weeks we will be taking a look at some of the sides that we will be taking on next season in SkyBet League One, today it's the turn of MK Dons.
Name: Milton Keynes Dons Football Club
Nickname(s): The Dons
Stadium: Stadium MK
Distance: 99 miles from Bristol.
Last Season: 23rd in the Championship (Relegated).
Formed in 2004, MK Dons have spent all but three years of their history in League One.
Relegated to League Two in 2006 under ex-Bristol City manager Danny Wilson, they experienced play-off final heartbreak in 2007 in a failed bid to return to League One. It was Paul Ince who achieved the task of winning promotion in 2008, as they won the League Two title, as well as winning the Football League trophy – their first silverware as MK Dons.
The Dons impressed upon their return to League One, even though they saw Ince leave for Blackburn Rovers. Roberto Di Matteo was named as his successor, and in the 2008-2009 season, they agonisingly missed out on automatic promotion by just 2 points.
With Di Matteo leaving for West Bromwich Albion, Ince returned following his unsuccessful spell at Blackburn. However, his second spell was a far-cry from his title winning season, and Ince resigned less than a year later.
In May 2010, the club appointed Ince’s assistant manager, Karl Robinson, as his successor. At just 29 years of age he was, at the time, the youngest manager in the Football League. Robinson led The Dons to two consecutive play-off finishes, though they lost both. The following season saw them fail to progress, a disappointing season leading to a 10th place finish.
Robinson received strong financial backing from the club in the summer, and brought in the likes of Danny Green, Will Grigg, Benik Afobe, and Samir Carruthers. With this new influx of players, MK enjoyed a fantastic season, and finally saw themselves in the Championship for the first time after securing automatic promotion on the final day or the 2014-2015 season. As if promotion wasn’t enough, they also famously recorded a 4-0 FA Cup victory over Manchester United in front of a sell-out crowd.
That promotion season also saw star performances from current England player Dele Alli. The 20-year old midfielder was sold to Tottenham Hotspurs for £5 million in January 2015, although he was loaned back to MK Dons for the remainder of the season – playing a key role in their promotion.
Their first season in the Championship saw them relegated to League One at the first time of asking, with the club criticised by fans for not backing Robinson financially. A togetherness remains between the club and its fans, with Karl Robinson remaining in his post to have another shot at reaching the second tier in the coming season, and with very few disagreeing that he is the man for the job.
A well-rehearsed League One club, Milton Keynes Dons will no doubt be aiming for a top 7 finish at the very least in the upcoming season. It is yet to be seen whether their faith in sticking by their manager will pay dividends, but if they want to succeed, they will need to pick their team up after a disappointing season and find their winning mentality on the pitch. It would appear, however, that their supporters back Robinson to do just that.
Purchasing your Season Ticket couldn’t be easier
Personal callers are welcome at Pirate Leisure at The Memorial Stadium or at The Supporters Club Shop 199 Two Mile Hill Road Kingswood, BS15 1AZ.
Alternatively Season Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling Pirate Leisure on 0117 909 6648 - option 1 (during office hours) or ‘199’ on 0117 961 1772 (during office hours) or online at www.brfctickets.com
Ambulant Disabled, wheelchair users and carers should contact Clare McDonagh directly, either in person or over the phone, on 0117 952 4001.