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Darren Smith joins MK Dons coaching team

Former West Ham United and Ipswich Town coach joins Liam Manning's staff...

22 October 2022

MK Dons are pleased to confirm the addition of Darren Smith to the Club’s coaching department.

In his role, Smith, a former coach with West Ham United, Ipswich Town, Wales and Colchester United, will work with the MK Dons goalkeepers in the absence of Lewis Price, who is away from the Club while battling testicular cancer.

Sporting Director Liam Sweeting said: “We are pleased to welcome Smudge to MK Dons. He is an experienced coach who will be able to provide our goalkeepers with all the work and support they need while Pricey is away from the Club.

“Smudge will work with David Martin, who will continue to play a role for us off the pitch with his experience and existing relationships with the goalkeepers. Dave, though, has made it clear he wants to continue his playing career for as long as possible and this allows him to put more focus and training time into doing so.”

Sweeting added: “It goes without saying that we all want to see Pricey back at the Club but it’s important he has the time and space to focus on his health, and Smudge’s arrival allows us to continue providing Jamie, Franco, Dave and Ronnie with expert support.”

Liam Manning added: “Pricey remains a key part of the first-team coaching department but its important he has the time he needs to fight his battle and get back to full strength and health.

“In the interim, we are pleased to be able to have Smudge work with our goalkeepers. He is somebody who I know from my time with Ipswich and he works with good intensity and detail. He will also bring energy and personality to the group.

“Smudge will also be supported by David Martin, who will continue to play a role with his experience but can now focus more on his playing career.”

Smith began his coaching career with Ipswich Town’s Academy, where he spent three seasons before joining West Ham United as a Professional Development Phase Goalkeeping Coach in 2012.

After a season with the Hammers, Smith returned to Portman Road as Lead Academy Goalkeeping Coach before working his way up to become the Tractor Boys’ First-Team Goalkeeping Coach in 2018.

Smith also worked with FA Wales as their International Goalkeeping Coach during his time back in Suffolk – a role he held for three years between 2014 and 2017.

In July 2019, Smith took up the role of first-team goalkeeping coach at Colchester United and was with the Essex club up until their recent change at the Head Coach position.

On his arrival at MK Dons, Smith told “I am both pleased and excited to be at MK Dons and I am grateful to Liam Sweeting and Liam Manning for providing me with this opportunity to work for a fantastic Football Club.

“First and foremost, I must send my best wishes to Pricey and I hope to see him back fully healthy and doing what he does best as soon as possible. In the meantime, I will do all I can to support the Gaffer, the coaches and the goalkeepers we have here at the Club.

“We have a fantastic unit of goalkeepers, all of whom are at different stages of their professional careers. It is a competitive group but they are all eager to push one another to be the best they can be for the benefit of themselves, personally, as well as the team.”

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