Departing striker Benik Afobe speaks exclusively to mkdons.com about his time at stadiummk...
A. Unforgettable. It was a move that I needed and MK Dons was a place that I felt like a footballer again after a lot of disappointments – injuries, not getting a chance and being played out of position. This summer I had a good pre-season so when I came to MK Dons I came with fire in my belly, determined to make a statement and prove people wrong. MK Dons was where everything clicked – my team-mates, the manager, the staff and the fans. I think they are the best footballing team in League 1, I just hope from the bottom of my heart that they go up.
I found a home at MK Dons. It was very easy for me to settle in which made it better for me. The manager said he was going to bring the best out of me and he did. He is going to be a very successful manager one day.
Q. You seemed to have a fantastic relationship with your team-mates – was it hard to sad to say ‘goodbye’ to them?
A. Of course, I’ve got a special bond with all of the players and there wasn’t one player that I couldn’t room with. The connection between everyone is brilliant - everyone is with everyone. The two people I spent most of my time with were Mark Randall - I knew from my time at Arsenal and he has unbelievable ability - and Dele Alli. The manager was right when he said that Dele is the best 18-year-old in the country and it’s only a matter of time before he’s playing at the top, but they are all great players and great guys. I hope they can be successful.
Q. Scoring 19 goals must make it more difficult to pick out a favourite, but does one stand out for you?
A. Every goal I scored felt like the best goal in the world. Personally, I liked the second one against Man United just because it was against Man United – I felt like I was in heaven after scoring that goal. Or the one at Chesterfield, but the manager likes the one against Bradford in the cup – I don’t mind that one either!
Q. You’ve had a few loan spells but this one proved to be your most profitable – would you agree?
A. Yes, I owe the Dons a lot, everyone invested a lot of time in me, from the manager, the coaches, the physios and the kit man - I’ll never forget that. I’ll always remember my time at MK Dons, which was a turning point in my career. People spoke about me early on when I was at Arsenal but then I got injured and they started to forget about me and doubt me, but MK Dons never did that and they gave me the chance to go out and express myself.
Q. What would your message be to the Dons fans, who you had a real rapport with...
A. The fans were great to me. I know we lost a couple of games but I don’t think I heard a Dons fan ever boo the team, they always stayed behind us. They were particularly loud at Notts County and Chesterfield away.
The more MK Dons grows as a club, the more I think people will start following them. I just want to say 'thank you' for supporting me. Hopefully they will continue to support the team and me – I just hope that I did enough during my time that they will have fond memories of me, and if I ever come back to MK Dons – you never know – that they will support me again.
Q. Looking ahead to the future, how excited are you about this next chapter in your career?
A. Very. Wolves are a massive club and the Championship level is a good one - I know that from playing in the division before, but I’m more confident now. I think I’m at the right age and I’ve proved myself in League 1, so I’m ready and I’m looking forward to it.