KARL Robinson has described the signing of Huddersfield’s Antony Kay as the “final piece of the puzzle” ahead of MK Dons’ first competitive game of the season on Saturday.
The 29-year-old defender has joined as a free agent and put pen to paper on two-year deal on Friday morning, meaning he is free to play a part in Dons’ League Cup first round tie at Cheltenham Town.
Robinson admitted that learning of Kay’s availability made him change his mind about potentially signing the unnamed defender who joined Dons on their pre-season trip to the Republic of Ireland.
News of Kay’s signing may not come as much of a surprise to Dons fans after Tranmere Rovers manager Ronnie Moore accidently spilled the beans about his impending move to stadium:mk after his own efforts to sign the player failed.
Kay, who can play in midfield or defence, made 31 appearances for Huddersfield last season, although he did not play a part in their play-off campaign that saw the West Yorkshire side beat Dons in the League One play-off semi final before securing promotion with victory over Sheffield United at Wembley.
Kay has previously played for Tranmere and home town club Barnsley, and has well over 300 Football League appearances to his name. His last outing for Huddersfield saw him captain the side that won 3-0 at Chesterfield in a pre-season friendly last Tuesday.
New manager Robinson said Kay had been on Dons’ radar for several years, and now that he finally has him on the club’s books, he is the final piece of the puzzle in this season’s promotion challenge.
“He’s one we’ve chased for a while. When I first came here with Paul Ince, he was someone we looked at when he was at Tranmere,” said Robinson. “And then Roberto (Di Matteo) tried to sign him, and I tried to get him last summer too.
“It was hard work. We had something else on the table from a player we flew out to Dublin with us. I always wanted Antony, and when I found out that he was a possibility, I pulled out of that deal. He’s the one we wanted.
“He can play in the centre of defence and midfield and can cover at right back too. He’s a versatile player, he’s a winner, and he’s captained every club he’s been at.
“But where’s he going to fit in?! He knows he’s going to be sitting on the bench for a few weeks – he knows he’s got to wait for his chance.”
Kay said: “This is a great club with some great players and they have made some quality signings. They’ve been in the play-offs nearly every year I can remember, so hopefully we can go one step further this time and get promoted.
“I think it helps having a bit of experience and knowledge of how to get promoted, so hopefully I can bring that to the club and the players and help us get up.
“Any player that has ever played against MK Dons knows how well they pass it and the way they play, and all footballers want to play that way. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve come here and I can’t wait to get started.”