For the second year running the Dons have taken their pre-season fitness camp to Dublin to ensure the players’ focus is solely on getting ready for the upcoming campaign.
It is a gruelling schedule which includes three training sessions a day, but Damien Doyle, the Club’s fitness and conditioning coach, is able to guarantee the players eat the correct food to prepare for the sessions and the medical team of Simon Crampton and Adam Ross on hand to help the players recover.
After a week of hard graft on the beach and training ground the squad took a well-deserved rest over the weekend before returning for the first of three friendlies in Dublin this week.
Four apprentices have also linked up with the first team to further enhance their development and to strengthen the squad’s numbers ahead of a busy week of fixtures. Mason Spence, Harry Hickford, Dele Alli and Brendon Galloway have all joined Karl Robinson’s squad.
Tonight the Dons will take on St. James’ Gate at Iveagh Grounds, Crumlin Road, kick-off 7.30pm, and Whitehall Rangers at the Ballymun United ground on Wednesday, kick-off 7.15pm before completing their tour with a behind-closed-doors game on Thursday morning.
Manager Robinson says he is delighted with the way their preparations have gone since arriving in Ireland but this week their work will step up another level.
Speaking to mkdons.com Robinson said: “Things are going really well, I think we are well on our way to full fitness...
The trialists who have come in have been brilliant, they really have lightened the place up and I have some big decisions and difficult decisions to make because I rate all three of them very highly.
"It’s been a fantastic trip over here, the players are enjoying it and it’s a part of a world we are very familiar with. We had two weeks of training, this week we will have four games and then next week we’ll be big on training again. When the games start we will have reached the next stage of our pre-season, they will play the four games and then hopefully we will be at a level where we can go and compete against the Premier League teams in the pre-season friendlies.
“In the first two games we want to players to have 90 minutes each and in our third behind-closed-doors match we want the players to get 45 minutes each and then we will take stock and see where we are at for the Kettering game.”