MK Dons have bolstered their goalkeeping ranks by signing Laurie Walker.
Having started his career with Dons, the 29-year-old has been a regular in the non-league scene in recent years, racking up appearances for Cambridge United, Hemel Hempstead Town, Oxford City and Kettering Town, while also enjoying a stint in the professional game with Morecambe.
Signed to be back-up to both Lee Nicholls and Stuart Moore, Walker was training with Dons last season too, adding an extra body during sessions with Mel Gwinnett.
"It’s a massive achievement, it’s always nice to go full circle and come back to the place where it all started out for you," said Walker. "It’s also nice to have my younger brother in the academy trying to push through and do the same thing. I actually worked here as an academy coach when I first dropped out of full-time football, so I’ve got a real tie with the club and it’s nice to be able to come back in a playing capacity and really help and try push this team forward in the right direction as well.
"Tis didn’t have to let me train last year, I can’t thank all of them enough for the opportunity. They are all fantastic coaches the sessions they put on are different class, the detail they go into and the help that they offer to keepers is great – that’s really nice to get feedback across the board. They’ve made me feel welcome from the off and it makes a little bit easier coming back in."
Walker felt his football career was grinding to a halt a few years ago in the non-leagues, and seriously considered concentrating on his business away from the game. However, he said his persistence helped him to get a new deal back in professional football, and proves hard work can pay off.
He said: "I sat down two or three seasons ago and started to doubt what I was doing with football. I had various conversations with people about dropping through the leagues and concentrating on my business, but opportunity do come around, this is proof of that.
"You have to keep working hard, do that extra training when you can, it is difficult when you only train twice a week, but there is always hope. You’ve got to get your head down and keep grafting because you never know who is watching and you never know what opportunities will come around. This is proof that one minute you can be training on a Tuesday and Thursday night, getting back at 1am on a Tuesday night from an away game and going to work Wednesday morning to training every day – there is always hope – you’ve got to get your head down and work hard."