I know we said we would be pulling the plug on this feature; you can have too much of a good thing and all that, but people are still coming forward happy to tell us their own story and personal journey following the Dons, and we still get more positive comments about the “The Floor is Yours” articles than anything else or, so for the short time we will carry on until we run out of willing participants and move on to something else.
Today we have Mark Turner from Brackley who is pictured below with Mum Kerry who is also a big Dons fan. Many thanks to him for taking part and we hope to see you very soon, no doubt with a pint in your hand.
Tell us a little bit about how you became a Dons fan and what was your first game?
Basically I had been to a few games at the Hockey Stadium when living in the area but never really supported them, it was just something to do with old friends. But my first game when I decided that I would start to follow the Dons didn’t come until we were inside Stadium MK which was January 9th (My birthday) 2010, MK Dons 1 – 2 Burnley FA Cup.
I had somewhat followed them beforehand on the sofa checking the results out but decided with my Mum for a day out for my birthday to go to a match. We then went to the odd game every now and again. The season before promotion we found ourselves going to a few more home games and a couple of away games that were local to where we was from (Aldershot) i.e. Swindon, Crawley etc. Come to the promotion season we were pretty much at football every other week home and away. To this day I really can’t remember why I became a fan, I just did.
What were your expectations for us pre-season, and have you changed your mind on what you have seen so far?
It’s been a weird season, But if I’m honest the way Pete/Andy were speaking during the first COVID-19 lockdown, With our stadium hosting events I generally felt like the club were in a much more stable position then a lot of other clubs and considering the January window it would suggest we are, So during that time I really believed this was the opportunity for the club to go big and put up a fight, With a manager for once that the majority seem to be behind, and then we started to see players in and unfortunately out and as the season started I soon came to realise it would be too much of an ask for a promotion fight. However I never believed for a second relegation battle was on the cards and always felt like we was selling the squad / coaching team massively short by suggesting survival was/is good enough. Given the January window we’ve had I believe if we can get Grigg scoring and keep Big Cam firing then we will see plenty of good results and who knows maybe a last ditch fight into those top 6 spots, though I think it’s most likely 7th/8th is where we will finish.
Which Dons player, or players have really impressed you so far this season?
My stand outs are Kasumu and Fisher, I’m gutted for Kasumu and his injury, but no doubt will come back better, and as for Fisher, he has stepped up and suits how Russ wants to play perfectly. Special mention to Big Cam, when we signed him I thought considering from what we’ve seen and was missing if all he was asked to do was get into position and score he wouldn’t let us down and no surprise that’s exactly what he’s capable of doing, however what has surprised me is how he gets about the field, there are plenty of games where he covers almost every blade of grass to quote a football cliche. The other player I’ve been impressed with is Agard, it’s impressive how he’s still in the club, must be on pretty good wages.
Best and worst performances so far this season?
Even though there is better performances I would say Sunderland (A) is probably the best performance for me as we had been so used to being 1-0 down and having all of the ball but at Sunderland we spent a seriously long time under pressure and was a really good test for us not to be leaky. Worst performance might sound harsh but Posh (H), some would say a point we would have taken before the match which is correct however it felt like Posh would of came away the happier of the two sides taking a point as we were by far the better side.
What is your favourite Dons moment or moments?
Manchester United at home has to be, I remember at the time not being a season ticket holder and living miles away, the struggle to get a ticket and my friend at my old job telling when we get hammered would it be worth the hassle, and me saying we will win 4-0 which I was obviously joking, little did we know that would be the score.
The first game against them from Kingston, From looking like a draw to the “Heel Of God”, what a crazy moment! Seeing as I worked with a Kingston fan at the time it was happy Monday seeing his tears.
Blackpool (A) 14th September 2019, nice standard weekender in Blackpool, but the whole weekend will be a lasting memory.
Who is your all-time favourite player and why?
I have so many for different reasons, but my two stands outs are Mathias Kouo-Doumbe literally because of the name, and Sam Baldock because I remember playing against him at school and even at that level he was seriously good!
Who is the best striker to have ever pulled the Dons shirt on, and why?
Same as above, Sam Baldock, felt like he had everything you need for a striker, also Paddy Bamford for the same reason.
Who is a good tip for promotion and relegation in League 1?
Promotion I would say Posh or Oxford both have really good squads and managers who can clearly deliver with good squads.
Relegation – It won’t be us, as long as it’s them lot from Kingston I’m really not bothered who else.
Fisher or Nicholls?
Nicholls is better but Fisher definitely suits Russ’s system better, Lee has to be the best back up keeper in the league by a mile!.
Home games, or away games?
Has to be away games, think every actual fan in every club will say away games as it’s just a better experience. Can’t beat a 6am train and a pint.
All fans love a good awayday, are there any grounds you look forward to visiting again, or perhaps one on your bucket list?
I am craving an away game so much I think I’d be happy anywhere even if it’s a field down the road! Bucket list would now have to New Plough lane.
Where do you think MK Dons will finish up this season?
I honestly think we will go on a last gasp push and get into that top 8, think we will just miss out on the top 6 places which without fans, are we that gutted if we don’t get a play-off spot? And what is likely to carry on unfortunately into next season would we really want to be in the Championship in a season where we can’t attend games without an absolute faff because of restrictions to numbers. Let’s just hope 2021/22 we have a bloody good season and then 22/23 we are in the Championship and all allowed back.
White shirt, red shirt, or black shirt?
Favourite colour is Red so will stick with that.
Your preferred matchday grub?
Would have to be the food before the match as during I’m normally in the smoking areas at half time and after I’m normally more concerned to get home, though anywhere that involves changing at Birmingham normally results in a malted milk milkshake and a burger from Five Guys, probably the only decent thing about Shrewsbury away, but normally get stuck in Birmingham after.
Any other comments?
First thank you for the opportunity MKDSA, from what I’ve seen under new management etc clearly it has improved and seems to have a wider interest in the fan base then it has before without having a dig at any individuals, I may have to sign up.
As for the club I really like Russ and at times have worried that the style he wants to play just doesn’t suit the lower leagues and without the right players it would be a struggle. However he’s proving me wrong and the January window we have had massively improved this side! Full credit to Pete and Andy who have clearly backed their man, showing that once we have stability for the first time in a while the “Board” will completely back him. We have to get promoted with Russ sooner rather than later as I just feel it won’t be long before offers come to tempt him. Also Harry Darling is an absolute amazing bit of business! Finally feel that we have a defence that could comfortably play as a 2, also Harvie is absolutely brilliant!