Joel Anker has put pen to paper and signed his first senior professional contract with MK Dons.
Joel, who progressed through the Dons’ academy impressed with his performances during his Scholarship programme.
The attacker had boasted many goal contributions throughout his time with the Under-18s, both within the league and knock-out competitions, which included fixtures alongside players from MK Dons’ first-team.
“I’m so grateful to everyone - the club, my coaches, JB, the background staff, my agent, my family, all the people that helped me get to this point. Hopefully, this is the start of a longer journey.
“It’s honestly hard to find the words to describe how I’m feeling because this is what I’ve been working towards since I was seven years old. Part of it doesn’t feel real, but I’m sure it’ll hit home when we go into pre-season, and I see Dean Lewington and all the senior players.”
Alongside Joel, former Under-18s defender and teammate Charlie Waller also signed professional terms with MK Dons. Both players experienced senior football together recently during their loans spell at AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Tring Athletic.
“I’m very happy for Charlie” the attacker said when asked about the similar journey taken with his teammate “We managed to be successful within our loan spells.
“At first it was different, it was tough. I had to adjust to a different environment, different styles of play, different players, but the main thing I took from that experience was being able to adapt.
“Towards the end I quite liked it, I really enjoyed playing Men’s football and I think that’s something that the club recognised, which could be one of the reasons why I’m here today. I’m really happy with how everything played out during that time.”
Amongst the elation of signing his first professional deal, Anker was questioned on his objectives as he looked towards the year ahead. The newly signed pro replied “The club has a plan for me, and I’ll do what’s required of me.
“Whether that’s fighting to get into the first team or going out on loan, I’ll do my best and have a good attitude whilst trying to learn and soak in as much as I can.
“There’s so much I can learn from the veteran players, and I’m looking forward to becoming a better player with these people every day.”