Jay Bird has signed a new contract to remain with MK Dons.
Bird, who has been with the Club since the age of eight, was set to be out of contract at the end of June but will now continue his development at Stadium MK beyond this season.
The 20-year-old made his senior bow earlier this campaign, scoring twice as the Dons beat Stevenage in the Papa John’s Trophy. Despite an injury-hit season, Bird was still able to total four first-team appearances, including a league debut away at Fleetwood Town.
“It means everything to me to remain with the Club,” Bird told iFollow MK Dons after putting pen to paper on his new contract. “MK Dons is all I’ve ever known and it’s the best feeling ever to represent this Club.
“It’s been a frustrating time for me with injuries but that’s football – it’s about how you bounce back from the setbacks and that’s what I’ll be looking to do.
“I’m grateful to Russ and the Club for showing this faith in me. My main focus is on repaying that faith and showing everyone what I’m about.”
Bird joined MK Dons as an eight-year-old and progressed through the Academy set-up before turning professional in June 2019.
Injuries prevented the forward from featuring during the 2019/20 season and it wasn’t until October of last year that he made his senior bow. He certainly made the most of the opportunity, however, marking his debut with two goals to help the Dons beat Stevenage in their opening match of this season’s Papa John’s Trophy.
Bird made one further first-team appearance before an injury sidelined him for six months. He returned in time to make his league debut in the 1-1 draw with Fleetwood Town earlier this month while he also came off the bench against Rochdale in the Dons’ season finale.
Manager Russell Martin told mkdons.com: “Jay has been really unfortunate with injuries but, in between, he’s shown real glimpses of ability and athleticism required to play senior football.
“He has worked hard with our brilliant medical team to get himself back to a level where he is able to train and perform consistently and he deserves another chance.
“It’s up to him, now, to come back for pre-season, fit and strong, and ready to fight and force his way into our plans.”