We haven’t had a Floor Is Yours for a while, so with a bit of down time this week with no midweek fixture Pete Williams contacted us and asked if he could help out, and we were more than happy to supply him with some questions, and his answers can be found below. Like Pete we cant wait to get back into the stadium and of course visit a few more grounds up and down the country, although we think Pete’s desire is more driven by a pint of bitter than anything else.
Cheers Pete, hope to see you soon.
Tell us a little bit about how you became a Dons fan and what was your first game?
As a Chelsea fan who used to attend all their home games and most of their away games for 10 years from 1969. I then got married and moved to Leighton Buzzard in 1980 before moving again to a small village just outside Bletchley. I always missed attending games as watching on TV is never the same. When the Dons moved to the Hockey Stadium I thought I might try and get my son to support a local team (like I did) and not Man Utd. No idea exactly what our first game was but it could have been against Barnet. We continued to go to matches on and off, but I did promise to get season tickets when the Dons moved to the Moo Camp. I have been a season ticket holder ever since.
What were your expectations for us pre-season, and have you changed your mind on what you have seen so far?
I was hoping for at least the play offs but after selling a number of players my expectations went down to just hoping to avoid relegation. I should have had more faith as ALL the players bought in have proved to be excellent additions. Assuming we can keep most of the existing squad for next season I have every confidence we will be pushing for automatic promotion.
Which Dons player, or players have really impressed you so far this season?
All the usual suspects but the player who yet again impresses me is our Captain & Dons Legend Lewie. Every year I think it must be his last season but apart from a dodgy back pass against Plymouth he really hasn’t put a foot wrong.
Best and worst performances so far this season?
The best is beating Sunderland away to finally win an away game and as I always bet on the Dons to win 2-1, I was very happy. Hang on beating “that team” in their new Stadium was pretty good too. The worst was probably the loss against Crewe although I tend to only remember the good games.
What is your favourite Dons moment or moments?
Quite a few favourite moments but being at QPR watching us hammer them in the FA Cup was pretty special. It helped being part of a very large away following and it really doesn’t get much better than that.
Who is your all-time favourite player and why?
For me it has to be Lewie. I originally looked at him to see if he played like his Dad who I watched playing for Chelsea. His Dad (Ray but known to Chelsea fans of a certain age as Animal) was a hard tackling midfielder who used to win the ball before giving it to Ray Wilkins. At that time Ray Wilkins was a wonderful creative player and one of the best passers of the ball. Anyway, luckily Lewie doesn’t play like his Dad otherwise he would be sent off every game. For a player to play over 800 games for one club is frankly unheard of these days. When he does finally retire, never mind a stand being named after him, he deserves a statue.
Who is the best striker to have ever pulled the Dons shirt on, and why?
We have had a good mixture of strikers and it’s difficult to just pick one as they bring different qualities to the role. Can I have a mixture of Bamford, Grigg, Bowditch and Izale ? Mind you if Cameron Jerome stays with us for another couple of years I would include him as well.
Who is a good tip for promotion and relegation in League 1?
Hull, Peterborough, and Sunderland for promotion. No idea who will get relegated as it changes week by week. However I would like Gillingham, Gillingham, Gillingham & that team to go down. I hate Gillingham almost as much as that team. How can they get away with a temporary stand for so long ? Why can’t they move their fans into 2 stands (there would still be plenty of empty seats) so that away fans can be housed in a permanent stand ? Also it always rains whenever I attend although this year it was only foggy.
Fisher or Nicholls?
For me Nicholls is the better shot stopper, but I can see why Russ plays Fisher as he is better at distribution. We are lucky to have two quality keepers and long may it continue.
Home games, or away games?
Away games without a doubt. I stand (I mean sit) in the Cowshed next to my mate Paul and if possible we try to do the same at away games. The atmosphere is much better at away games and maybe fans can start saving now for the first Saturday away day next season. We go by coach and at least once a season something exciting happens. Highlights include breaking down before a game against Crewe, breaking down after a midweek game against Oxford, waiting over one hour at a Service Station after a young Don had a paddy and refused to get back on the coach and last season waiting over an hour after a game against Lincoln when one of our fans went walkabout. Mind you I blame the jobsworth Lincoln steward for the last one who refused to let us enter a gate next to the ground and made us walk miles round the block. Amazed only one fan went missing. However my main memory for an away game is a midweek fixture at Morecombe. We had a very old coach with no toilet facilities and very hard seats. The journey was very long due to an accident on the Motorway and we only just arrived in time. The game was a travesty due to the very strong wind and when Lee Nicholls took a goal kick it just about reached the halfway line before being blown back. 3-0 down at half time and even though we improved in the second half we lost 4-2. A piece of corrugated iron was blown off one of the stands and their beer was awful as well. Arrived home very late but like all football fans it didn’t put me off attending the next away game.
All fans love a good awayday, are there any grounds you look forward to visiting again, or perhaps one on your bucket list?
If I can get a decent pint of beer then whatever the game is like, it’s been a good day out. So assuming they don’t get promoted or relegated I look forward to visiting Accrington, Rochdale, Crewe, Lincoln, Doncaster, Wigan, Sunderland, Portsmouth & Bristol Rovers again. As for teams on my bucket list, I would like Stoke, Swansea & Middlesbrough to get relegated from the Championship and Cheltenham, Barrow, Harrogate, and Salford to be promoted from League 2. If that happens then I will then be able to say I have visited 69 of the 72 EFL grounds.
Where do you think MK Dons will finish up this season?
Mid table will be acceptable for our young team but pushing for promotion next year.
White shirt, red shirt, or black shirt?
White shirt although I do have a soft spot for the black one. I also like the red one as well so basically any of them as long as NO stripes !!!
Are you a member of the MKDSA, if not why not, and what can we do to persuade you to join ?
Have been a member for ages apart from when I forgot to renew my subscription. I am now a Life member so that won’t happen again.
Your preferred matchday grub?
For games at Stadium MK a bacon roll at home followed by a couple of pints at the ground. For away games a cheese sandwich and/or a McDonalds then a couple of pints in a Pub or at the ground.
Any other comments?
Random ideas in no particular order are as follows:
• At certain cricket matches they have a Cancer Awareness Day whereby spectators are encouraged to wear Pink and monies are raised for Cancer. As far as I know no Football Clubs does anything like that so why can’t the Dons? Lots of good publicity I would think and if the opposition fans bring a large following then lots of money raised for a good cause.
• Can the Club let the fans know in advance what colour shirts they intend wearing at an away game.
• Any chance our next away or third kit can be Orange as another nod to our Club legend.
• Can a local firm sponsor away travel so that more fans will be encouraged to attend.