Many thanks to 25-year-old Reece Davies who works on the concessions in the away end at SMK and is a regular away day fan. For the eagle eyed amongst you, you may have noticed we gave Reece a try-out reporting on the Northampton Town game in the EFL Trophy match last Tuesday, and we think he made an exceptionally good job of it, so I’m sure you will see him again when we give our regular match reporter Martin Atherton a well-deserved night off.
Tell us a little bit about how you became a Dons fan and what was your first game?
I didn’t really get into football until I was 8 years old watching England play in the 2006 World Cup so my first time going to a football match was in the 06/07 season to watch a 1-1 draw against the eventual League Two champions, Walsall, at the National Hockey Stadium. The goal scorer for us that day was, of course, Izale McLeod! My Dad took me, and I loved the experience! I ended up going to a multitude of games over the years and was present for all the big moments in our history so far, the final day promotions, the Cup Final win in 2008 and THAT game against Manchester United.
What were your expectations for us pre-season, and have you changed your mind on what you have seen so far?
I wasn’t expecting anything amazing from the team this season given the current climate and I would have taken preservation of our League One status at the start of the season. However, given what the players have shown, and I know that we have still lost and drawn more than we’ve won, I think that we can get top half this season. We have been so unlucky at so many points this season, but the results will start to match the performances more often than not very soon I’m sure.
Which Dons player, or players have really impressed you so far this season?
I want to steer away from the obvious choices like Fraser, Jerome etcetera, so I’ll say that Andrew Fisher has been absolutely brilliant for us since taking that number 1 spot this season. He’s pulled off brilliant saves to keep us in the lead in games that we’ve gone on to win, Sunderland and Bristol Rovers spring to mind. He’s also extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet and you’re not filling your pants when the ball gets played back to him. That’s a credit to him, what a great signing from the summer!
What is your favourite Dons moment?
I referred to the super “big” moments in our history earlier and I was there for all of them. Of those, my favourite would be the final day promotion at home to Mansfield. I was working in the away end that day and managed to wind up quite a few Mansfield fans at full-time which was quite entertaining but that relief when we won was something else. Aside from those, I’d say going away to Rotherham on the first Championship match day, and seeing us win 4-1… We were top of the league and thought that the Championship was going to be a walk in the park.
Who is your all-time favourite player and why?
This is probably the toughest question of the lot! I’d have to say Sean O’Hanlon. He was your typical bruiser centre-half and as someone who plays as a centre-back myself, he was very inspirational! A huge part of the side that won the least prestigious double in English league football, his power header against Grimsby at Wembley basically confirmed the first half of that on a brilliant day out in North-West London.
Who is a good tip for promotion and relegation in League 1?
So that I don’t look foolish at the end of the season, Burton Albion are goners I’m afraid and I feel bad for them because they’ve punched above their weight for so many years now. It’s crazy to think that they were in the Championship as recently as 2018. I don’t think Jimmy will be able to save them, I’m afraid.
But I’m gonna stick my neck out on my promotion tip… Accrington Stanley (who are they?) are making the second tier. They look strong and their PPG is the best in the league at the time of me answering these questions. I don’t think that it’s a flash in the pan either and I think that their form can be sustained until the end of the campaign.
Home games, or away games?
Well, given that I have only worked at home games since 2014, this makes my answer extremely easy: away days all the way! The buzz around the travel there, seeing different parts of the country, and different grounds. Away days feel like a proper day out, or sometimes a whole weekend away.
I went to the last away day that was possible: Rotherham away at the end of last February (Healey’s last goal for us as well). My best mate was studying in Sheffield at the time, so we made a whole weekend of it and it was quality!
All fans love a good awayday, are there any grounds you look forward to visiting again, or perhaps one on your bucket list?
I thought Highbury in Fleetwood was a nice little ground. They had that fans’ bar attached to the stadium that had a really nice vibe and getting to see Blackpool lit up, on the way back home, was aesthetically pleasing as well. Shame about the last result there.
On my bucket list, is Fratton Park, mainly because Portsmouth are surely going to get promoted sooner rather than later. Also, it looked like a great outing for those that went last season despite the result.
Where do you think MK Dons will finish up this season?
I do think we can get top half but if we miss out on that, the lowest I think we will finish is 15th. I genuinely believe that relegation isn’t a proper concern given how awful some of the teams in the bottom half are more than anything.
White shirt, red shirt, or black shirt?
I love the white shirt! I have our first ever home shirt as well, but I wash my whites very rarely so when I wear my white Dons tops, they don’t get washed for ages. As a result, I got my first non-white Dons shirt for Christmas and I asked for the black kit which is gorgeous!
Your preferred matchday grub?
I adore the MK Dons burger: quality and quantity! Who can complain? I do miss the old Piglets pies we used to do.
We understand you have recently started writing match reports, how did you get into that, and where can we find them?
One of my friends from university started a website recently for footballing articles and match reports, and knowing that I’m a big Dons fan, asked if I wanted to be the MK Dons correspondent and I was more than happy to get involved!
Thanks very much for giving me the opportunity to plug it, you can find it here: https://thefootballfansview.com/