More than Concrete Cows!
Posted by chris_saxon on January 03 2008 09:15:29
I trust that everyone had a wonderful time over the Festive period. January can often be something of an anti-climax after the roller coaster of Christmas and the New Year. Now it's back to the business of winning games and achieving promotion, starting with the small matter of playing table topping M K Dons at the weekend.
In years to come, I suppose that 2007 might well be remembered as something of a turning point in the club’s fortunes considering all those upheavals and the general downward spiral we seemed to have experienced in recent times.
Despite the year beginning badly and indeed our subsequent relegation, the new season has so far exceeded expectations and Mark Robins and John Breckin are to be applauded for turning the club around. Whether we’ll be celebrating a speedy promotion or not remains to be seen but the foundations have been firmly set, there’s even talk of a new stadium, so 2008 promises to be an exciting year.
Saturday’s opponents M K Dons have also suffered in the last few years and they too are experiencing something of a renaissance. Indeed, their fortunes, at least in very recent times, have mirrored ours.
Perhaps, they are a couple of years or so further down the road to recovery given that they already have a shiny new stadium, increasing home attendances, a team that appears to be certainties for promotion and a young high profile manager destined for greater things.
M K Dons, until recently were viewed by the majority of football fans as something of an outcast within the Football League after their move from South London to the Home Counties and the subsequent change of name. Since then, all trace of the former Wimbledon Dons has effectively disappeared and even the club colours have changed from the dark blue to white.
Despite the outcry and the protests the transition is complete and almost all vestiges of the London club have gone. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the move, it’s fair to say that the people of Milton Keynes have taken the club to their hearts and support amongst the locals, in an area previously devoid of any football clubs of any sort of standard, is growing. If proof is required, you only have to look at the attendances at the new stadium and their ever increasing travelling support.
That travelling support was already increasing when we last met. A memorable day and a goalless draw at Millmoor ensured our survival in League 1 at the end of the 2005/2006 season. That game proved the opposite for the Dons who needed a win to escape the drop. I was sat in the Railway End that day and was quite taken with the fervent support from the noisy M K Dons supporters, which gave the match something of a carnival atmosphere. I recall with fondness the ovation their fans gave to us despite their despair at being relegated.
If the club had to move, I suppose that it was fitting that the City of Milton Keynes was chosen. My wife recently spent several months working there and although a Football League club is a recent addition, there’s far more to this new town than concrete cows and modern buildings. Indeed, they already host a plethora of top sporting venues via the National Hockey Stadium, a National Badminton Centre and a couple of quality sailing lakes.
Of course the newest might well prove to be the best and the new soccer stadium is already attracting the plaudits and has recently hosted an England International match at under 21 level against Bulgaria. We Millers will soon be able to sample the venue for ourselves, as the return game is due in early February.
Whilst this meeting is unlikely to settle any promotion, a win would do nicely and set us for a happy and successful 2008. Here’s to another stirring game and three points.