FORMER Dons manager Martin Allen and former England boss Glenn Hoddle were at Woughton on the Green today, as was Karl Robinson’s new signing.
League of Ireland star Shaun Willian has become Dons’ latest recruit, and he got a lengthy run out in a friendly match organised against a team from The Glenn Hoddle Academy based in Spain.
And also interested was Allen who watched two of his PRO FC Academy players enjoy a run out for Dons at the training ground he will have been well accustomed to having managed the club for just over a year between 2006/07.
Naithan Hilaire and Marly Gough aren’t expected to follow Williams in signing at stadium:mk, but both did feature in Robinson’s side that took on some of Hoddle’s highly rated youngsters.
Williams, 24, is not expected to feature against Peterborough as the club awaits confirmation from the FA on his availability.
The former Republic or Ireland U23 international comes with an excellent reputation and put pen to paper on a contract until June 2012 after his club Sporting Fingal folded in February.
Williams enjoyed success with Fingal as they won the Irish FA Cup in 2009 and helped his side make it to the UEFA Europa League in which they reached the second qualifying round where they were eventually beaten by Portuguese side Marítimo. He also scooped the Irish Young Player of the Year award in 2010.
Boss Robinson is over the moon with the latest addition to his side, saying: “I’m delighted to capture him, he was sought after by a few clubs and it’s terrific news that he has decided to move here - it will be great for his progression.
“At 24-years-old he matches all the criteria we’re looking for. He’s young, ambitious and hungry for success - just like the club.
“To be named Young Player of the Year by his fellow professionals shows that he is rated in the game and emphasises what we as a management staff already know, we have added another quality player to the club.”
Today’s friendly was the second meeting of Dons and the Hoddle Academy in a week, with Robinson’s men winning the first game 1-0 and the former England boss seeing his side win by the same score this time.
Sean O’Hanlon, Tom Flanagan, Adam Chicksen, Jude Stirling, Lewis Guy, Charlie Collins and Jabo Ibehre all featured for Dons.
But most importantly, Angelo Balanta took another major step towards regaining full fitness after his ankle injury as he played a part too.