Joel Anker scored the opening goal of the Academy Showcase Game victory over Spurs earlier this week and was lost for words when asked to describe the experience.
Wednesday evening marked the first time fans could return to Stadium MK with over 840 Dons supporters turning up the cheer on the next generation.
Anker, who found the back of the net after a free-flowing passing move, described the night as ‘special’ as he tried to recall the variety of emotions he experienced.
“It’s a special night, to beat a team like Spurs is a really special moment,” Anker told iFollow MK Dons. “I couldn’t be more proud of the boys, we showed our commitment and worked hard – I think we fully deserved the win.
“For some people, this is a once in a lifetime moment and these opportunities don’t come around often. Millions of boys play football and only a couple get to experience a moment like today. I’m so grateful to the club and I’m happy we managed to take advantage of this opportunity and win.
“I can’t describe the winning moment – it was like a fairy-tale ending. We couldn’t have asked for a better ending and I’m very proud of Brooklyn for his goal.
Anker has been with the club for four years and has attended previous Academy Showcase Games, including a late substitute appearance in the 2019 clash with the same opposition. Wednesday night, however, allowed Anker the chance to impress from the off.
The youngster also noted how having a manager in Russell Martin, who isn’t afraid to play youngsters, pushes everyone in the academy system to be at the best every session.
“I’ve been here since Under-12s and been to a few showcase games. I played in the last one against Spurs, but only got 10-minutes. It was nice to get a goal and be involved in it. it’s moments like today that you work hard for – I’m really happy today.
“I’m so grateful and very happy that we performed in front of the directors. I hope more opportunities can come my way.
“It’s brilliant that there is a pathway because it gives you a lot of hope and motivation. You work hard in every session because you could get called to train with Russell. To have a manager that believes in the academy – it makes you work harder.”