This week we welcome another well-known face from the Cowshed, Daniel Palmer, known to some of his friends as “DippyDon”, and indeed Dan can regularly be found in the thick of the action on away days with the MK Army, mainly in the vicinity of the nearest bar. Dan is extremely vocal on social media and is well known to many Dons fans for his strong points of view on everything to do with the MK Dons. We thank him for his time in answering our questions and providing an interesting read, we would also like to wish him well and hopefully our paths will cross as soon as we are allowed back into the stadium.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you became a Dons fan and what was your first game?
I was a kid when the move happened, so when Wimbledon moved to Milton Keynes, I didn’t really care what it meant for the wider footballing world, I was simply happy that there was a football team on my doorstep. My first actual experience of MK Dons however was the holiday camps that SET put on during school holidays, and my first Dons game came about from getting a ticket through that. It was Shrewsbury at the Hockey Stadium in the Martin Allen season and we won 2-0 with Gareth Edds and Clive Platt scoring. After the move to Stadium MK, I went intermittently, maybe 2 or 3 games a season before me and my mate James started going without parents regularly in 12/13, and I got a season ticket the next year in the Cowshed and haven’t ever looked back.
What were your expectations for us pre-season, and have you changed your mind on what you have seen so far?
I’ve been very vocal online with what I would consider a good season. This year has been a tough one for the football club obviously with Covid causing havoc with the finances. Considering the new wage limit and the lack of income I’ve always said that so long as we survive as a club and stay up in League 1 then I’m happy.
Given what I’ve seen from the team I think I’m going to be very happy. It’s not been great to watch at times, but I’ve never really felt like we’re going to be pulled back into the bottom 4. Maybe that’s blind optimism because I believe that Russ is on to something but considering how we’re playing with players that are effectively being forced into learning an entirely new style of football, the future is bright if we keep Russ and this brand of football.
Which Dons player has impressed you most this season, and why?
The obvious answers are Fraser, Kasumu, Jerome and Sorinola I feel, so instead of repeating others I’m going to praise an old favourite of mine. I think Dean Lewington has had a brilliant first half of the season. I may get slated for this because of the old arguments about Lewie and he hasn’t been the standout for every single game, but he’s been put into a new position, one that he’s reportedly never been happy playing, and he looks a natural. I was a left winger as a kid and with Harvie on the wing outside him I’m really enjoying watching us down the left-hand side this season and Lewie is a vital part of that.
What is your favourite Dons moment?
Again, ignoring the obvious (Wembley, Man Utd and Yeovil) I think my favourite moment following the Dons was the 14/15 Player of the Year awards. The football for me is almost second to the social side of following the club and to be able to share that night just before we would go on to get promoted with past and present players at the time, a jubilant Pete Winkelman and a lot of close friends that I’ve gained through following the club, was just magical.
Who is your all-time favourite player and why?
The first player to really grab my attention was Sam Baldock. I played against the youth team he had played for as a kid a few times and it was the first moment that I thought that someone from our local area could really be a professional footballer and that was incredibly inspiring.
Who is a good tip for promotion and relegation, and where do you think the Dons will finish up this season?
I can’t see past Hull and Lincoln for promotion, although that might be my own bias coming through because of my relationship with both clubs (Hull is a family team while I lived in Lincoln and worked for the football club for a year). As for relegation, I’ve felt Wigan have been unfortunately nailed on ever since their relegation from the Championship last season.
For us, it’s hard to say. As I stated earlier, I’d be happy with 20th, but realistically we are better than that. I’ll go for 14th.
Home game or away game?
I enjoy both for different reasons, but nothing beats a really good away day.
Can you tell us an away ground you always look forward to visiting and why?
I enjoy Sincil Bank more because it means going back to Lincoln, but my favourite ground so far out of all of them I’ve done is Notts County, so it’s probably that one. I’m not really sure why but I’ve been 3 times now and we’ve won 3 times, so I guess it’s a happy hunting ground.
Going on from the last question, can you tell us about a memorable to you Dons win on the road that you attended?
My favourite away game was funnily enough under my least favourite manager when we battered Peterborough 4-0 at London Road. Growing up they were always the competitive rivals; we’d often be in similar positions vying against one another and beating them in that manner was brilliant.
White shirt, red shirt, or black shirt?
It depends on the design really. This year I like and now own all of them, but I’d have to say my favourite by a slight margin is the black shirt.
Any other comments?
Just to say that I’m extremely glad I was encouraged by James to come to the MK Dons more regularly. My life would be 100% different had I not agreed to go to the QPR cup game, and I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people that I now consider as good friends, I wouldn’t have witnessed some extremely memorable events both on and off the pitch, and I wouldn’t have done the charity walk to Fulham which I talk about almost excessively! It was the proudest moment of my life so far being able to say I completed it and raising so much money for Willen Hospice made it all the sweeter. It’s just a shame that we lost the game…