Chances are you wouldn’t have been able to predict the season Ian McLoughlin had in 2012/13 – not even the Irishman, himself, did
With McLoughlin starting the year as the Dons’ number 2 behind David Martin, who had missed just three League games since re-joining the Club heading into the campaign, most people expected the former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international to a perform back-up role behind his fellow goalkeeper for another season.
However, an injury to Martin away at Carlisle United in March handed McLoughlin the chance he’d been waiting for since arriving at stadiummk in summer 2011 and the Dublin-born goalie certainly made the most of the opportunity.
Keeping nine clean-sheets in 16 games, McLoughlin played a crucial role in Karl Robinson’s side’s late push for a play-off place while also helping to equal a Club record 18 shut-outs.
And although the ex Ipswich trainee admitted he didn’t see it coming, he was pleased with finally being able to prove himself to the Dons management and faithful.
Speaking to mkdons.com, McLoughlin said: “I don’t think I could have predicted the season I’ve had as I was obviously number 2 behind Dave coming into this season.
“I got my first chance away with Walsall and took it and then I came back just as Dave got injured and since I’ve stepped in I think I’ve done well.
“I believed I could do it. The problem for me has just been getting the opportunity to show what I can do. When I went to Walsall I got six games under my belt and I thought I did well. It was also important to get my distances back again,
“Obviously when I came back here it took me a while to get adjusted because Walsall play a lot different to how we play. It wasn’t difficult but it was all a bit hectic as one minute I was playing for Walsall, the next minute I was coming on against Carlisle United for the Dons.
“It’s been a good season for me though. I think I’ve done well and nine clean-sheets in 16 games is a good record so I’m pleased.
It’s not just me that’s keeping the clean-sheets, though, it’s the whole team – defending starts from the top of the pitch. In one of the games towards the end of the year Glees cleared the ball off the line so clean-sheets are down to everybody. Obviously they go down as your own but the team play a big part in getting there.
“Healdy’s also been great for me. I wasn’t getting a lot of goalkeeping training up at Walsall but Healdy was always available on the phone for advice and stuff. He’s done well for me, both this year and last year and he’s helped me improve along the way.”