Ilunga is hungry for more after his first taste of senior football
MK Dons 0-3 Rochdale
After making his MK Dons first team debut on Sunday, Brooklyn Ilunga has set his sights on staying in Russell Martin's plans next season.
The 17-year-old came on as a second half substitute in the 3-0 defeat to Rochdale after being included in a matchday squad for the first time. Only training with the first team for a week, Ilunga said he loved his experience and wants to play a more regular role next season.
"It is a completely different environment to get used to," he said. "But they all welcomed me in, and once I got going, my confidence kept growing. I loved every single second of it.
"The main objective is to stay in this environment, keep striving to be training and playing with the first team."
On his debut, Ilunga said: "I'm still overwhelmed - a huge thank you to the staff that believed in my and gave me the opportunity. Despite the result, I'm delighted to make my debut.
"To be honest, it came as a complete surprise - I didn't expect it at the start of the week. I'm just grateful for the chance. This club is known for growing the players and I'm so pleased to be showing everyone what I can do."
Ilunga is not the only first year scholar to have played a part in the first team this season. Lewis Johnson made nine appearances for the first team this season, and was named EFL Apprentice of the Year for League One. And though the pair have come through the Dons academy together, Ilunga said Johnson was an inspiration for the rest of the players coming through the ranks at Stadium MK.
He added: "The other lads see Lewis as a role model, he's motivated all of us. The levels he's been playing, we all want to reach. We're proud of him, and it correlates to my motivation and excitement to train with the first team."