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Walker: MK Dons providing perfect platform to develop

Stephen Walker talks learning his trade at MK Dons...

22 April 2019

MK Dons has a history of giving young footballers a chance in the game, the latest, Stephen Walker, feels his time with the Club is making him a better player day-to-day.

Walker joined on loan from Middlesbrough on Deadline Day back in January, and despite only being with the Dons for just under three-months, Walker feels the Club has helped him become a better player.

“I really feel like I’ve developed as a player during my time here,” the 18-year-old told the Red Dot ahead of this Monday’s clash with Port Vale. 

“When I go back to Middlesbrough – I’ll be a better player from my time with MK Dons. I feel like I’ve done okay. I know my strengths and weaknesses and I feel like when I’ve come on, I’ve brought something different to the team.” 

Walker isn’t the first youngster to make a loan move from the Riverside Stadium to Stadium MK with Marcus Tavernier making the same journey to the Club back in January 2018. The young striker says he spoke with Tavernier ahead of his move to the Dons – and he only had positive words. 

“I spoke to Marcus Tavernier before I joined and I asked him what it was like, if he enjoyed it, and he only had good things to say about the Club.

“He said it was an ideal place to play his football. I could see the improvement he made as a player when he returned from his loan - he was twice as good. I thought this would be the best place for me to develop as a player, playing league football and picking up minutes.” 

Walker also praised the coaching staff and his fellow strikers for helping him improve as a player and provide the youngster with valuable information to develop his game.

“I’m really enjoying working with Tis and his staff - they are a great set of staff. I take every experience as a learning curve and working with different managers can only be good because it helps me learn new things.

“I take every day as a learning curve and I’m fortunate that I’ve got a lot of experienced players to learn from here. Chuks [Aneke] is a big strong lad. He can pin his defender and then turn in behind. He’s so powerful when he runs too. Kieran [Agard]’s movement is so impressive, and his positioning and finishing is class.

"Simmo [Robbie Simpson] is great in the air and has some of the best hold-up play I’ve ever seen. David Wheeler is one of the best players I’ve ever seen in the air and he’s not even six foot!

“They all have qualities that I can learn from.  Every day I try to learn something new from each one of them and hopefully that’ll help me develop as a player.”

Read the full interview with Stephen Walker in Monday's edition of Red Dot, which will be available from sellers around Stadium MK and the Box Office at a price of £3.

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