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Milton Keynes Dons FC Staff Profiles

MANAGER - KARL ROBINSON

Robinson stepped up from assistant to manager of MK Dons in May 2010 and in four seasons in charge at stadiummk he has twice guided his side to the League 1 play-off semi-finals.  

The Liverpudlian – who was, at the time of his appointment, the Football League’s youngest manager 29 years old – had hopes of a playing career ended with a back injury as a youngster on YTS terms at Swindon Town.  

After moving into coaching, Robinson returned to his hometown where he worked for eight years in the Liverpool Academy under Anfield legend Steve Heighway and earned his UEFA B and A coaching qualifications.

Among those he left a big impression on was Paul Ince, who established a relationship with Robinson during his time both playing for Liverpool and watching his son Thomas’ rise through the Academy ranks. Following Ince's appointment as MK Dons manager in 2007, Robinson would be subsequently brought onboard as first team coach.

Dons went on to win a League 2 and Johnstone's Paint Trophy double that season, with Robinson making a considerable contribution to the entertaining brand of football the side had become the side's trademark.

Upon Ince's appointment as manager of Premier League Blackburn that summer, Robinson was among the staff to join him, again as first-team coach. His ideas and methods were very well-received by Rovers' star-studded squad of players and, following Ince's departure later that season, new boss Sam Allardyce was quick to secure Robinson's immediate future. Having looked like potential relegation candidates for long periods, Blackburn secured a 15th-placed finish.

When Ince returned to MK Dons for the start of the 2009/10 season, the opportunity to step up to an assistant manager's role was too big for Robinson, who had recently began work towards his UEFA Pro Licence, to turn down. He rejoined the Dons for the start of that season and again set about encouraging a brand of high-tempo, passing football that help guide the Club into promotion contention.

Having played a big part in the coaching of the team, Robinson was thrust into an even more prominent role upon Ince's decision to resign from his post at the end of the season. Robinson effectively took charge of first-team affairs for the final four games before taking the manager role on a full-term basis.

In his first two seasons Robinson established a new philosophy of football at the Dons and guided the side to back-to-back play-off campaigns. While he has been unable to secure a top-six finish in each of the last two seasons, his ambition for Championship football with the Dons remains undeterred.

HEAD OF COACHING - RICHIE BARKER

Appointed as Karl Robinson’s right-hand man on a full-time basis in May 2014, Barker brings with him the experience of playing and managing at League 1 level.

Barker began his playing career with Sheffield Wednesday but, after just the one senior appearance and two loan spells away at Doncaster Rovers and Ards, he joined Northern Ireland outfit Linfield in 1997.

After a short stay with the Blues, Barker returned home to sign for Brighton & Hove Albion, where he would go on to score 23 goals in 103 appearances before joining Macclesfield Town on a free transfer in June 1999.

Barker tallied 26 goals in 68 games in two seasons at Moss Lane, form which earned him a £60,000 move to Division One side Rotherham United in 2001.

Featuring 155 times for the Millers and helping them win promotion to the Championship in his first season, Barker was allowed to join Mansfield Town on a free transfer in 2004 after mainly being used as an impact substitute.

The prolific frontman scored 48 goals in 106 games with the Stags and became a fans favourite with the Stags’ faithful before eventually joining Hartlepool United in January 2007 for a reported fee of £80,000.

Barker netted 27 times in 73 games for the Pools before re-joining Rotherham in 2008 where he would later retired due to a knee injury just a year later.

After joining Sheffield United as an academy coach, Barker was named Bury’s youth-team manager in July 2010. Barker then stepped up to the role of caretaker manager of the Shakers after Alan Knill left for Scunthorpe United with just eight games remaining in the 2010/11 season.

Barker led Bury to six consecutive victories that season which saw them win promotion to League One and Barker appointed permanent manager at Gigg Lane.

The following summer, Barker was named manager of Crawley Town and he led the Red Devils to 10th place in his and their first season in Sky Bet League 1 before leaving in November 2013.

Just a month after his departure from Memorial Stadium, Barker was presented as Portsmouth manager with Steve Coppell being appointed as director of football.

Barker left Fratton Park after 20 games in charge before taking up a an adivsory role alongside Robinson at stadiummk in April - a role which was made permanent the following month.

GOALKEEPER COACH - PAUL HEALD

One of the Club's truly great servants, Paul is one of few staff to remain from the Wimbledon era, having spent nine years as a player with the Dons after joining from Leyton Orient in 1995. 

After hanging up his gloves as a player, Paul stepped into the role of goalkeeping coach but also spent time as a chief scout under Martin Allen during the 2006/07 season. Ever a popular member of the backroom staff, he has become an integral part of the Club's development since 2004. 

Born in South Yorkshire in 1968, Healdy began his playing career as a trainee at Sheffield United before signing for Leyton Orient as a 20-year-old. He made 219 appearances during seven years with the O's, which also included loan spells with Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town. 

He joined Wimbledon for £125,000 in 1995, becoming a core member of the infamous Crazy Gang, and remained with the Dons until the Club's move to Milton Keynes in 2003 and the subsequent emergence of Milton Keynes Dons a year later.

SPORTS SCIENCE & FITNESS - DAMIEN DOYLE

Damien rejoined the Dons in July 2010, after Karl Robinson targeted the Dubliner as his first choice to become Head of Sports Science, Fitness and Conditioning. 

Having previously worked for the Club under Martin Allen's managerial reign three years previously, Damien relinquished his post at Wycombe Wanderers to return to Milton Keynes and become part of Robinson's team.

A knowledgeable operator and expert motivator that enjoys a great rapport with staff and players alike, Damien received a glowing recommendation from former Dons skipper Keith Andrews before Robinson added him to the backroom team. 

He also worked with Allen at Brentford and Leicester City, either side of his spell with the Dons, and operated under both Peter Taylor and Gary Waddock at Wycombe before his switch back to Milton Keynes.

SPORTS MEDICINE - SIMON CRAMPTON

Simon joined the Club in 2006 as Head Academy Physiotherapist before being quickly promoted to the first team environment and developing the medical department as Head of Sports Medicine. 
  
A Chartered Physiotherapist, Member of The Society of Physiotherapists and registered with the Health Professions Council, Simon has a BSc Hons degree from London Metropolitan University and an MSc from the renowned University of Brighton's School of Physiotherapy. 
  
As the Club's head physiotherapist, Simon provides assessments, treatments and interventions on a daily basis, from the training pitch to matchday, and works closely with Damien Doyle on rehabilitation programmes that aim to reduce injury risks throughout the squad. 
  
Blackpool-born Simon heads up the first team's medical department, managing a multi-disciplinary team that includes a wide variety of medical and health professionals - all of whom ensure the players recover as quickly and safely as possible following injury.

A puller of few punches in the banter stakes, Simon's unique take on events behind the scenes can be read in his matchday programme column - The Bootroom. 

SPORTS THERAPIST - ADAM ROSS

Now in his sixth season working with the first team, Aylesbury-born Adam is a product of the medical department's highly-competitive mentoring scheme, which offers work placements to carefully-selected applicants aspiring to become medical professionals.

Having completed over 200 hours of work experience during the third year of his BSc Hons degree in Sports Therapy from the University of Hertfordshire, Adam was offered a full-time position at the end of the 2007/08 season. 

Adam is a Member of the Society of Sports Therapists. 
  
Working under Paul Ince, Roberto Di Matteo and now Karl Robinson as part of Simon Crampton's medical department, Adam provides treatment and rehabilitation for injured players as well as aiding the recovery and well-being of the first team squad.