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Busy summer for scouting duo

4 September 2014

It’s been a busy summer for Bobby Winkelman and Andy King who, along with the management and board, have helped to recruit no fewer than seven players since the end of last season.

Following a tenth-placed finish in Sky Bet League 1 in 2013/14 and the departures of several experienced players, the Dons needed to be active in the transfer market this window and they were, strengthening many key areas of the team – most notably up front where there were three new additions.

“The team has made a good start to the season and it’s been pleasing to see some of the recruits that we’ve brought in contribute,” Winkelman, Head of Recruitment at the Club, told MK Dons Player.

“It’s been a long process and it’s not something that we started at the beginning of the summer. We’re constantly looking for players that can come in and do the job at this level, to hopefully take us to the next level.”

King, the former Everton striker who joined the Dons’ staff in early 2014, continued: “One of things we did this year was look to avoid a similar situation to the (Patrick) Bamford one last year. The manager wanted three strikers so we threw nine names at him of which he would then choose the three.

“Our job is just to pass on names of players to the manager and then it’s his decision whether to sign them. We’re just his eyes out there.”

This summer’s window was the first that Winkelman and King worked together but, as the latter explains, the duo’s friendship began long before that.

“Me and Bobby have known each other a long time, since he was a baby, really,” King said. “I’ve also been around the Club for a while because I started Paul Mitchell off on this side of football and Mick Harford is my best mate.”

Winkelman added: “It’s good to have that wealth of experience alongside me, and the fact that Kingy knows the levels well and all the people in the game only helps what we’re trying to do.”

With the summer transfer window now closed, attention turns to January for the recruitment team, who will continue to search high and low for potential new additions to Robinson’s side.

Winkelman said: “The team have started on the right foot and it’s partly our job to try and help the management team to keep that going. We want to be a real help to the Football Club.”

“We try our best to cover as many different games as possible at various levels,” King continued. “Often people think we just go to watch these under-21 games but you know most of the under-21 players because they’re talked about a lot and they’re at the bigger clubs.

“I was at this game the other day which was an FA Cup game at a very, very small club down near Heathrow Airport. There was a player there that I really liked, so we do go to a mix of games because you don’t know what you might find.”

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