The 2012/13 Football League season starts later than usual due to the Olympics taking place until mid-August.
The biggest sporting show on earth arrives in the UK in July and will reach a climax on Sunday 12th August. As a result The Football League fixtures were pushed back meaning the Dons will kick off their new campaign on Saturday 18th August at home to Oldham Athletic.
As a result most clubs have been faced with the battle of a prolonged close-season before heading into a more condensed year of football. The Dons will report back to training a week later than normal to fit in with the new schedule and boss Karl Robinson believes the management of the off-season is vital to the Club's early season form.
Speaking to mkdons.com Robinson said: "I think the season starting later is a slight help to some clubs, especially if you have the right characters it will be a strength.
"Some teams will struggle because they will lose their players for a longer period and may fall off their training programmes. The team that copes with the off-season better than anybody else will be the team that gets off to the best start - getting results in the first 10 games is paramount if you are going to be successful."
Every Dons player was sent on holiday with a close-season training pack compiled by fitness coach Damien Doyle, to ensure every member of the squad returns in peak condition. In fact, Robinson revealed the strict rules behind the players' fitness programmes.
He added: "The most professional team in the summer will be the team that gets the best start. It's good for us because our players are focused, yes they will go on holiday and relax but they have programmes to work to over the summer and they have signed contracts to say they won't come back over a certain weight, if they do they will be fined two weeks wages.
"Last year nobody broke the rules. That will lay the foundations so that myself, Mick and Wrighty can get on with the football work right away."