Milton Keynes Dons are pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Gill as the Football Club’s Technical and Strategic Development Coach.
Gill joins MK Dons after a two-and-a-half-year spell as first-team coach with Ipswich Town, reuniting with manager Russell Martin whom he played with, and coached, at Norwich City.
The former central midfielder has over 500 career appearances to his name as well as seven years of coaching experience, bolstering Martin’s backroom team alongside assistant manager Luke Williams and goalkeeper coach Dean Thornton.
“I’m really pleased to be here and be a part of things,” Gill told iFollow MK Dons in his first interview since joining the Club.
“I’ve known Russ a long time and I’ve always hoped that, at some point, we would be able to work together, as our views on the game are pretty aligned. When the opportunity presented itself to come here and do that, it was something I was really looking to do.
“Football is about performance and winning games of course but, especially here, it is also about having an identity and helping people and players improve and develop. Those fascits are what I’m most interested in and want to add value to during my time here.”
Manager Russell Martin said: “First and foremost, he is somebody I really trust and have had a brilliant relationship with, ever since our time together at Norwich City.
“As a coach, he has had a quick trajectory because of his ability, his care for people and the way he communications with players. I saw that first-hand when he was coaching Norwich’s Under-23s – he played a part in developing a lot of top players during his time there.
“He will add so much to us as a Club. He will be here to help with the first team, focusing on individual development with players – who will really benefit from this.
“It is a really important appointment for us, and I’m grateful to the Chairman and the Club for allowing this to happen.”
Sporting Director Liam Sweeting added: “I’m really excited to welcome Matt into the coaching team as Technical and Strategic Development Coach.
“We have an exciting group of young players and this was a role Russ, Simon and myself were really keen to introduce, when it was possible. Matt has an excellent record working with young players and will give us someone dedicated to their continued progression and development.
“I’ll be working closely with Matt to ensure the players have a clear development pathway - whether that includes a loan to experience first-team football or if they get straight into Russ’ thinking.
“It’s another progressive move by the Club and the Chairman, and I look forward to seeing the results of our work.”
Gill began his football career with Peterborough United, making 149 appearances for the Posh and helping them win the Third Division Play-Offs in 2000, before joining Notts County and then Exeter City, with whom he combined to play 230 games.
With the Grecians, playing under former MK Dons boss Paul Tisdale, Gill won his second promotion via the play-offs as he helped the Devon club reach the EFL in 2008. He then signed for Norwich City, where he would play alongside another future Dons manager in Russell Martin.
The Norwich-born midfielder achieved two further career promotions during his time with the Canaries, playing a part as they lifted the League One title and then finished runners-up in the Championship, before he departed Carrow Road to join Bristol Rovers in 2011.
After three seasons at the Memorial Stadium, Gill moved to Tranmere Rovers, where he would finish his playing career and begin his life in coaching. Initially signed as a player-coach, the then-33 year-old was soon appointed assistant manager at Prenton Park but left following manager Rob Edwards’ departure just two months later.
That saw Gill return to Norwich City where he worked his way up through the Academy to become the Canaries’ Under-23s manager in July 2017, playing a huge role in developing the likes of Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis and Todd Cantwell. He remained in post in Norfolk until October 2018, when he chose to link up with one of his former managers, Paul Lambert, at Ipswich Town.
Ipswich’s first-team coach until Lambert’s exit in February 2021, Gill had a brief spell as caretaker manager of the Tractor Boys, leading them to a 2-1 win away at Accrington Stanley, before returning to his old role following the arrival of Paul Cook.
Gill left Portman Road by mutual consent in May but will remain coaching in Sky Bet League One thanks to his new role as Technical and Strategic Development Coach with MK Dons.