MK Dons manager Russell Martin says joining the Football Club revived his love for the game.
Martin, then a player, moved to Stadium MK in January 2019 and played a key role in helping the Dons achieve promotion to Sky Bet League One at the first time of asking.
The 34-year-old has since been appointed the Club’s manager and prior to the lockdown, had his team on course to secure their third-tier status.
“It’s been full on and intense ever since I arrived here but I’m loving it,” Martin said in a recent Q&A with MKFM.
“I was really close to finishing playing before I came here. I had an experience before coming here that I didn’t enjoy and it made me question whether that was a sign that it was the end for me.
“I then got a call from Paul Tisdale about coming here. I knew about the Club and the infrastructure from playing against the team and knowing players who had played here. I was desperate to join.
“Coming here certainly re-ignited a spark in me to keep going. It reinvigorated me and from the moment I signed I felt at home and happy. I felt connected with the players, staff and supporters at the Club and I feel that’s only grown over time.
“It’s a second home for me. I love the people I’m working with and what we’re trying to do at the Club. Hopefully that will continue to develop over time.”
Martin was appointed manager back in November following the departure of Paul Tisdale and over his four months in charge, has made a huge difference in terms of both the style of football being played and, more crucially, the results on the pitch.
“I felt we were starting to see the process coming together in terms of the performances and results,” he added.
“I signed a long-term contract on the day I was appointed manager and I want to make sure I’m here for many years to come so that I can get this club to where I think it’s capable of getting to. The Chairman made that big commitment to me with the contract and I owe him for the faith he’s shown in me.
“I have lots to learn and hopefully I’ll keep improving and learning and we’ll all move forwards together as a club. What this break has given me is a chance to reflect and analyse on what we’ve done – what’s worked and what’s not.
"We’ve plotted and planned how we’re going to move forward and I’ve certainly looked to use the time we’ve been given to make sure we’re better and more refined when we get back to work.”