Pete Winkelman's programme notes ahead of this afternoon's Sky Bet League One opener with Shrewsbury Town.
Good afternoon everyone.
Welcome back to Stadium MK for the start of another season of football here at the heart of Milton Keynes. After the thrilling and exhilarating end to the 2018/19 campaign, securing promotion back to Sky Bet League One on a dramatic final day, I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to be back in their seats again today. A huge thank you to all our Season Ticket holders, old and now, who continue to provide the backbone for our Football Club. To anyone here for the very first time, we hope you enjoy your Stadium MK experience and we look forward to welcoming you back here again very soon.
This summer has been a particularly busy one, not only for the Football Club, but the Stadium MK group as a whole. Shortly after we secured promotion with a 1-0 win against Mansfield Town, Stadium MK was converted into a world-class music venue to stage three internationally-renowned music artists - Take That, Rod Stewart and, finally, Rammstein who, as anyone who was here will be able to testify, put on some show back in July! The three concerts were a great success and proved that this facility is built for the biggest and best events – we are looking forward to hosting more concerts in the future.
The stadium will, once again, be on full display in 2021 when we play host to the UEFA Women’s EUROs while later this year we are excited to have the England Under-21s side back with us for their UEFA Euro qualifier against Austria.
It certainly is an exciting time for sport in Milton Keynes, which will take on the honour of being a European City of Sport in 2020. At the very heart of sport in this great city is Milton Keynes Dons and it’s vitally important that we take advantage of the positivity and excitement building here by continuing to get things right on the pitch.
Paul Tisdale, Andrew Cullen and the management and recruitment teams have worked tirelessly over the offseason to strengthen our squad in preparation for our Sky Bet League One campaign. We are pleased that the hard work has paid off, with the quality of players we’ve been able to bring to the Football Club. We have some mouth-watering matches to look forward to over the next 10 months, with the likes of Sunderland, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth and Bolton Wanderers all to visit Stadium MK between now and May, but nothing is more exciting than the very first game.
While we were bitterly disappointed not to begin our season last weekend at Bury, the result of this is that our opening fixture takes place here, in front of our home supporters at Stadium MK, and I, for one, can’t wait. Let’s get this season started!
Come on you MK Dons!