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Clear pathway for young Dons

29 March 2017


Clear pathway for young Dons

29 March 2017

Just before his interview with MK Dons PlayerHD earlier this week, Edu Rubio watched on as two of his young Academy starlets trotted out for a session with the first team.

Finn Tapp and David Kasumu, both first-year scholars, were invited to train with the senior players and the duo held their own alongside the likes of Kieran Agard, Joe Walsh and Dean Lewington.

“I think it shows we are very committed to the development of our youngsters in the local area,” Rubio, head of Academy coaching at MK Dons, said while watching the pair warm-up with their peers.

“I thought it was a cracking goal. It was a great piece of skill and great awareness too. What was most pleasing, though, was when I asked him at the end of the game ‘how did it happen?’, he told me he’d noticed throughout the game that the keeper was always outside of his box so he thought he’d just have a go at it. It was a goal from someone who has an instinct to score goals. A number nine has to have that desire to score goals.”
On Brandon Thomas-Asante’s goal...

Here’s what else Rubio discussed in his exclusive catch-up with MK Dons PlayerHD...

“We don’t have an Academy just to tick boxes, we have one because we genuinely want to get as many youngsters as possible from the local area into our first team – we want to be a club who gives chances to local players.”

“It will be good for the Academy in general, as well, because the players can see there is a true pathway from the Academy into the first team which is a very important thing for the Club.

“I think it’s a very important experience for them. They need to feel like they’ve earned the opportunity and, at the same time, it’s an experience will help them for the years to come.

Tickets for the Gwen & Jim Mann Academy Challenge Match between MK Dons Under-15s and their Manchester United counterparts

“It’s very exciting. They are one of the best teams in the world so it’s important to have them in our stadium. It’s a true reflection of the importance there is at this Club about developing young talent and the pathways from the Academy to the first team. It’s a very good thing for the young players – its great exposure for them but also a great learning opportunity. For us, it’s all about providing learning opportunities – whether that’s an Under-15s game at the stadium, or a training session with the first team.”
On Under-15s facing Manchester United at Stadium MK...

“We’ve had very good performances lately. We haven’t conceded too many goals so we are working quite hard on our compactness and defensive awareness. We’re still playing the way that we like, which is through the thirds with attractive, attacking, possession-based football. Scorelines have also been good in the last couple of weeks. The most pleasing thing is that we’ve had the chance to play a few Under-16s and even a few Under-15s with the Under-18s – there is clearly that great progression through the Academy.”
On Under-18s’ performances in the Merit League 2...are priced at £5 for adults and £1 for under-18s -a FREE ticket is available for current Academy Supporters’ Draw members and those who have already signed up for 2017/18.

To buy tickets click here, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK/kiosk at centre:mk or call 0333 200 5343.

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