So, the final curtain for us has fallen, and whilst I’m sure we are all disappointed that we couldn’t overcome the final hurdle, we should all be very proud at what we have achieved as a club.
To finish 3rd after what we had to endure at the start of the season is remarkable and we left teams like Sheffield Wednesday, Oxford United, Portsmouth, Ipswich Town, Plymouth Argyle, Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic all in our wake.
Often accused we have no fans, we have proved them all wrong and travelled up and down the country in great numbers and out sung them in their own back yards, and often come home with the points safely tucked in our pockets.
We have recorded some amazing results, most notably away from home, with wins at Plymouth, Wycombe, Portsmouth, Charlton, Sunderland, and Rotherham just to name a few, not just amazing results, but memorable moments that we will carry with us for years to come.
It has been an incredible season where we were led by a relative unknown in Liam Manning, with Liam Sweeting by his side, and they have now firmly woven their names in the rich fabric of history this club writes daily.
We have witnessed players in the Dons colours we will never forget, and I’m sure some will feature in your all time Dons best team. If some are to leave, we wish them every luck, but they should know, once a Don always a Don.
As the Chairman of the MKDSA it falls upon me to thank the committee this season for their tireless work, and I think it safe to say we have had a great season financially, with an increase in memberships, a superb Christmas raffle, the football cards on matchday, and the programme shop run by “Del Boy” has done brisk business all season with remarkable returns.
Not only that but your generosity has blown us away, donations of programmes and shirts have allowed us to raise funds and dress the bar and make it a real home for Dons fans.
In addition, Jim & Gwen Mann donated funds to be able to purchase a brand-new trophy cabinet to house our most treasured possessions, and last but certainly not least the CazBar have very generously sponsored the MKDSA this season and have already agreed to continue that for next season.
Our biggest achievement is the Lewington’s Bar, and when we look back at the photographs of the first few weeks it’s hard to believe how far it has come. From a handful of chairs and two very small TV’s at the start to what it has become today is remarkable and we thank you the fans for being there on matchday and helping to create the atmosphere.
Whilst there is no news on heating or the wall, we remain hopeful if not frustrated at the slow progress, but at least it is no longer a wind tunnel, but we will continue to press the club to make these essential improvements.
With funds raised we have already agreed to purchase another large TV to replace the smaller of the two in the main bar area, and move the smaller one into the corridor area, and we are also looking at installing surround sound for the whole bar to improve the early game experience.
We have also signed off on more sofas for the main bar area and they should be in place ready for the 2022/23 season.
Whilst as much Lewington’s has become the focal point for fans on matchday it has also raised the most complaints in your matchday experience, sadly most of those are out of our control, with the beer quality and the speed of service at the top of your list of complaints.
We have raised this with the club on numerous occasions and very little appears to have been done to rectify the situation, so while it is of little consolation we are as frustrated as you. We are sure the bar could take much more needed revenue than it does, and although that will not benefit the MKDSA it is needed to increase your enjoyment of using Lewington’s, again we will continue to challenge the club to sort things out.
The “MKDSA Live” shows on YouTube and Facebook continue to increase in subscribers and we plan to continue them next season. This has been a great success and we thank you for tuning in each week and taking part as we do the guests that have pitched up like, Liam Manning, Liam Sweeting, Simon Crampton, Toby Lock, Paul Dixon, and Luke Ashmead, plus the unforgettable JT.
The website goes from strength to strength, and we are pleased that it topped over 100,000 views a few weeks ago, and whilst talking about the website we cannot forget to thank all the contributors that supply the content for you to read, with my special thanks going to Jon Harries for his weekly previews.
We are going to take a well-earned break from proceedings to recharge the batteries for the challenges ahead, so don’t expect too much content on the website unless we have something major to report.
Before the season kicks off, we will be holding our AGM and Fans Forum so watch out for news on that, plus we will be starting up the membership drive for the new season and we really hope you can consider joining, it really makes a difference.
Until then, summer well and look forward to a few new grounds to visit plus one we won’t have to.
Colin Butler – MKDSA Chairman