Karl Robinson has revealed his plans to create a development team for MK Dons next season.
The MK Dons manager is keen to ensure the fringe players of his squad are able to play competitive football when they are not involved in the first team.
The set-up is likely to be set-up as an ‘Under-23s’ side which will compete on an ad-hoc basis at times when fixtures run thin during the season. It will also allow the youngsters in the Under-18s to make the step up and bridge the gap between Academy and first team football.
The development team is likely to work more flexible than that of a reserve team, which forces teams to complete a number of fixtures or face fines if they fail to do so.
Robinson explained: “We are looking at planning Under-23 team next year; we are looking to have 10 of them which would run alongside the first team programme. Alan Smith and Paul Heald would run that for me, as well as Alan still playing. We’re encouraging the young players to stay at the Football Club because they are the future.
“I think it is important that we develop the players, it won’t be a regular thing it will be when we can fit it in. It is important that over the next 12 months we have a big impact on what we do with the youth team because there are some special, special players there.
“We want to aid them in their progression, obviously we want to stay competitive so you can’t always play them but when you are good enough you are ready and these players have certainly shown me that they are capable of competing in the first team next year.”