Dons could know training future by Easter 2017

MK Dons' training ground Woughton on the Green ENGPNL00120110615133640
MK Dons' training ground Woughton on the Green ENGPNL00120110615133640

MK Dons hope to have planning permission for a new training ground in Cosgrove by Easter 2017.

Dons’ current Woughton on the Green training base has been a bone of contention for many years at the club, with the public playing fields not fit for purpose.

Karl Robinson and his staff have had to resort to using school playing fields at Long Meadow School and Sir Herbert Leon Academy when the Woughton pitches have been flooded or too hard to train on.

Chairman Pete Winkelman has earmarked land in Cosgrove to build a much-needed training base for the club, but admits while he’d like a huge complex, he understands the necessity to give the first team a regular pitch to play on.

“What we need at the moment isn’t some fancy building, we just need some grass. Grass that doesn’t get too boggy, doesn’t get too hard so we can’t train on it. We absolutely need that.

“Just having some pitches is so important. The first thing we’d do after we get planning permission is to put down the pitches within a few days. Everything else can follow after that.

“At the moment, you could walk a dog across our training pitch. If they don’t scoop everything up, the players might tread in something. That’s not Championship enough, that’s not professional.

“We’re working hard on putting together a planning application, and the reason we haven’t done it yet is because we don’t want to put together something that will fail.

“We’re finessing the plans all the time. I hope to do it in September or October, certainly before Christmas. And then we’ll know whether we get the go ahead by Easter next year. We don’t want to be over confident or negative either.

“We build the stadium in phases, and we ended up with something magnificent in time. I think we can use that method with the training ground. But we have to get on with something.”