The last two years of Jay Bird’s career have been disrupted with injuries, but the forward is eager to put his troubles behind him and repay Russell Martin’s faith.
Bird, who has been with the Club since the age of eight, signed his first professional deal in June 2019. His contract was set to expire at the end of June, but he will now continue his development at Stadium MK beyond this season.
The 20-year-old made his senior bow earlier this season, scoring twice as the Dons beat Stevenage in the Papa John’s Trophy. An injury against Eastleigh in the Emirates FA Cup saw Bird limited to four first-team appearances.
The Academy Graduate finished the season strongly as he was involved in the final five Sky Bet League One games of the season. He also made his Sky Bet League One debut in the closing stages of the draw with Fleetwood Town, before making his Stadium MK bow against Rochdale in the final game of the season.
“All I can do is give thanks to Russ for the opportunity and putting his faith in me,” Bird told iFollow MK Dons. “My main focus is to repay Russ back and show him what I can do - I appreciate everything he and the club have done for me.
“I can see what Russ is trying to do and the football he plays is so good. Seeing players I’ve grown up with and how successful they’ve - it pushes you that bit further. I know I can do that as well and it feels closer to home as you’ve been with them since you were young.
“There is a visible path to first-team football. I feel like it’s possible, and next year, I want to give everything I can to show them what I’m really about.”
Despite the negatives that come with being injured, Bird has been eager to switch his mentality in order to find positives from his situation. Bird shared a treatment room alongside the likes of Kieran Agard and Cameron Jerome – two strikers who have bags of experience in the game.
“I know a lot of people can see being injured as a downfall as you’re in the treatment room every day, but you spend so much time with the people in there. Speaking to the players on a day-to-day basis, it can just be about general life. They are there to speak with you and they aren’t going to hide anything. I’ve used it to get as much information as possible and it’s been a positive.
“I’ve learnt so much and grown as a person and a player. It shows you how important it is to look after your body and recover. It keeps you out of the game for so much longer and it minimises your chances of getting to where you want to be. It’s so important to keep yourself fit, do everything properly, otherwise, your chances are minimalised.”
Season Tickets are now on sale for the 2021/22 campaign, with no supporter paying more than £230.
As a way of saying thank you, and providing some certainty in an uncertain world, the Club has made the decision, for one season only, to cap the maximum price of an Adult Season Ticket in all areas of the stadium at £230 - that works out at £10 per game!
If you would like to pay for your Season Ticket using the Club’s interest-free direct-debit scheme, and be able to spread the cost into smaller monthly payments, click HERE to download a Direct-Debit mandate form. Alternatively, you can visit us at Stadium MK, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01908 622922.