Following their 13th place finish in League 1 last season under manager Russell Martin, Milton Keynes Dons have been making full use of the facilities at St. George’s Park in Staffordshire, training twice a day during their pre-season stay whilst also facing Championship outfit Coventry City in a friendly fixture.
Speaking about his side’s visit to the home of England’s national teams, former Wycombe Wanderers, Peterborough United and Norwich City defender and current Dons manager Martin was full of praise for the environment his team have been able to enjoy.
He said: “The reason we chose St. George’s Park was because I came here a few times as a player with Norwich City to do a five-day pre-season camp and loved it. The facilities it has, the quality of the pitches, accommodation, food. We would often go abroad not knowing exactly what we were going to get and sometimes leave very disappointed, but whenever I came here I always left feeling positive about the week we’d had. It has been exactly the same now, as a manager.”
The Dons will begin their 2021/22 campaign with a trip to AFC Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup on Saturday 31 July, before commencing their League 1 season with an away fixture against newly-promoted Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 7 August.
“It’s elite level,” Martin continued, speaking about the benefits of a pre-season training camp at St. George’s Park.
“It’s where the national teams train and the guys know that, so they come here feeling good about it. It’s all set up for you and there’s always someone at hand if you have any issues. We moved the pitch today to play in a pre-season match – because it was easier logistically for us with the kit and equipment – and that was no problem at all. The facilities are one of the best I’ve ever been in.
“If we can we’ll always try and come back here as much as possible. I’d recommend it highly to anyone.”