Throughout pre-season second-year scholar Tom Rowley spent a number of weeks training with Russell Martin’s first-team – an experience he feels has benefited him both on and off the pitch.
Rowley was joined by Malaki Black, Josh Bailey, and Tali Jallow as the quartet were handed the invaluable opportunity of training and playing with senior professionals.
The Under-18s were involved in a number of pre-season friendlies, with all four also being named on the bench for MK Dons’ Carabao Cup clash with Coventry City.
“It was a great experience,” Rowley told iFollow MK Dons. “I think every player in the academy wants to be with the first team, that’s where you want to be and you want to impress them.
“It’s great and quite a few of the boys have really pushed on and shown what we can do.
“I think Russ and Luke really give opportunities to younger players and give you the chance to impress. They also give you a clear understanding of what you’ve got to do, I’ve come away with a lot from being with the first-team and I’ve matured as a player and as a person.”
Elsewhere, John Freeman was handed his first professional contract with the Dons, while Jack Davies also put pen to paper on a permanent deal this Summer.
Academy Graduates Callum Brittain, David Kasumu, Matthew Sorinola, and Sam Nombe have all made their mark on the first-team, and Rowley says seeing that pathway can only be viewed as a positive.
“Here at MK Dons, we’ve had so many players progress into the first-team. I’m buzzing for John - it’s excellent news after he had such a tough time.
“It’s clear to everyone that MK Dons provide opportunities and if you do the right things, work hard – you will get your chance.”