These are coming thick and fast now, and we are in danger of being swamped, but for now at least we will pump them out as much as possible, well until you get bored of them. For this one we are grateful to Alby. Alby is a regular along with his Dad (pictured below) down at SMK and can often be found at away games no matter where they are up and down the country.
Many thanks to him for the latest in a series of great reads, one of the best so far, I think, hope you enjoy it.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you became a Dons fan and what was your first game?
Like many and most fans my age, we’ve got to admit to links to other clubs. My Dad grew up as a big Hibs supporter, but became a bit detached from the club since moving to MK in the early 80s. My uncle had a season ticket at the Dons and kept telling us to come down, for whatever reason we never did until our glory hunting itch came in and my uncle got us tickets to Wembley in 2008. I used to watch Dons on TV any time they were on and listen to the radio commentary every week, so it was nice to finally see them. Pretty much as soon as we went, we got season tickets. Even had we lost I think we’d have gone again regularly. My Dad had his buzz for football back he’d lost since moving South and we fell in love with the club and have barely missed a home game together since. I’ll finally add that this is why I think Family Fun Days, and cheaper ticket deals we do that often get mocked are fantastic. Just getting people in the ground will encourage more to come. It worked for me and loads of others I know.
What were your expectations for us pre-season, and have you changed your mind on what you have seen so far?
Despite losing a lot of players we are around about where I thought we’d be. I expected to hover a bit higher in the League, between 10th and 14th, but generally okay. I always thought this season was a building block toward the next few years. Implement a style, catch other players’ eye, build on it and get higher each year. I think as the season goes on relegation will be an afterthought, much like last year. But for now, it’s about keeping our better players and building on the past two campaigns next season, and not think about relegation battles at all.
Which Dons player has impressed you most this season, and why?
It is easy to say Scott Fraser, that goes without saying. But David Kasumu has been really, really impressive to me. Good on the ball and has that real nasty edge between a yellow card and a red that is perfect to me. Brave in a tackle, dictates a lot of the play and if he could add goals to his game, we’d be looking at a player destined for Championship football at the very least for his entire career.
What is your favourite Dons moment?
Promotion to The Championship. That day was everything you hope to be involved in one day when seeing other teams fight it out on the Football League Show on a season climax. Having been to most games home & away that season, the day of nerves, exuberance, stress, and emotion was beautiful by the end. I think I hugged more people that day than I ever had done before in my life. Seeing the players out that night and celebrating with them was very personal and so Lower League. My big club supporting mates who never go to games will never get that kind of attachment to look back on – ever!
Who is your all-time favourite Dons player and why?
Dean Lewington…… He’s exactly now as I remember he was when I first saw him. I don’t think I’ve ever been so defensive on a footballer before and find it personally insulting when he gets bad mouthed. Bloke is an icon and only when he’s gone and realise nobody embodies the club like he does, will the greater fanbase realise it.
Who is a good tip for promotion and relegation, and where do you think the Dons will finish up this season?
I think we will finish, as I said earlier between 10th and 14th. Hull and Lincoln going up automatically with Posh via playoffs. Rochdale, Swindon, Wigan, and Cobblers going down. Opponent always pop up with a great late run to be fair to them and looked good in their game against us earlier this season, and other clubs have said they look good so as much as I’d like them to drop down, they won’t.
Home game or away game?
Away game…… You see the same faces more often, weirdly, and build up a good relationship with people you never would meet outside of football. We generally take 400 odd away give or take, and even those that you don’t know all too well on a personal basis you can have a pint with and relate to. I think as a fanbase we get on better year on year. Some used to frown upon others for how they did things before, myself included to be honest, which dies down after a while when people get to know each other more. That feeling of walking into a boozer full of home fans at 1pm and being noticed by your own merry supporters in the corner by a pool table and getting a little cheer that you made it to the game is always fun. If you’ve never been, please just give it a go. You’ll never regret it. Even the crap games with a defeat are good days out.
Can you tell us an away ground you always look forward to visiting and why?
London away days are cracking because they are so close, but enough adventure and travelling to make them fun. Even in midweek! So Orient, QPR, and Charlton have been visited many times. I could go on and list about 50 that I really love, they all have their own quirks. We’re incredibly lucky to be where we are. Nowhere really is far enough away that it’s a difficult to travel. Quick note for those that never travel. If the ground looks crap on Google, it’s generally the better day out. Don’t be fooled that the nicer the ground the better the day.
Going on from the last question, can you tell us about a memorable to you Dons win on the road that you attended?
There are so many to pick that it’s difficult. I’ve been following the Dons away for over ten years but Carlisle away in 2019 was up there with the best. Half 7 train, back in MK by 9. A 3-2 win at a near on sell out ground on the furthest away game of the season in our promotion push. I could write tens of away games that stand out though, that very season at Notts County. How long did it take to get “Dave Wheeler” out of our heads?
White shirt, red shirt, or black shirt?
Neither – yellow!
Any other comments?
Stick with the team. This regime under Russ is different to those under Micciche, Neilson and Tisdale for example. We might be inconsistent, and results might not always be favourable. But we’re in transition. If we’re at least mid-table this season and can build on this squad, we have every chance of progressing under this manager. It’s simple to see his vision and ideas and there is a plan there to progress, unlike the “do not lose” approach to some that came before.
If you’re new to the club and/or have never experienced away games, I plead with you to give it a go. Make the most of it. Book a train, have a few beers, and make a day of it. Or get on the coach with your kids and build up to a fun day out with your family. Even if we lose it is never not worth it.
UP THE FRANCHISE!!!