Former Dons celebrate season successes

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 7:00 am
<p>Matt O’Riley scored four goals for Celtic following his January move from MK Dons, and got called up to represent Denmark</p>

Matt O’Riley scored four goals for Celtic following his January move from MK Dons, and got called up to represent Denmark

Promotion was not on the cards for the current MK Dons squad, but some former players have been celebrating recently.

Not just in this country, we look at some of the familiar faces celebrating.

Rhys Healey - Toulouse

Rhys Healey has remained a hot-shot striker since leaving MK Dons, and helped lead Toulouse to promotion

Few doubted Rhys Healey would go on to be a hit in France when he moved to Toulouse in the summer of 2020. Offered a bumper deal to move to the south of France, Healey helped lead Les Violets not only to the Ligue 2 title but also the golden boot in the division with 20 goals.

Matt O’Riley - Celtic

Matt O’Riley, pictured behind manager Ange Postecoglou, left Dons in January for Celtic and helped the Bhoys to the SPL title

Like Healey, few doubted Matt O’Riley’s credentials when he earned a big-money move north of the border in January. Taking to the SPL like a duck to water, the former Fulham man netted four goals in 16 league appearances for Ange Postecoglou’s side as they romped to the Scottish Premiership. His performances and impact on the big stage also earned him a call-up to represent Denmark.

Baily Cargill and Jordan Moore-Taylor - Forest Green Rovers

Baily Cargill, left, celebrated his second promotion from League Two, this time with Forest Green Rovers

Having enjoyed promotion from League Two with MK Dons, both Baily Cargill and Jordan Moore-Taylor helped Forest Green Rovers to the title this season and will come up against their former club in the third tier next time out.

Sam Nombe - Exeter City

Sam Nombe joined Exeter City last summer, and returns to League One with them

Striker Sam Nombe reached double figures this season for Exeter City as he, like Cargill and Moore-Taylor at Forest Green, secured promotion from League Two. Helping the Grecians to second spot in League Two, Nombe is on course for a reunion with his former club next season.

Ethan Laird - Bournemouth

Ethan Laird, left, spent the first half of the season on loan with Swansea City under Russell Martin’s watch, but a January move to Bournemouth saw him promoted to the Premier League

Manchester United’s Ethan Laird appeared to be heading for a lower mid-table finish at Swansea City but his loan spell at the Liberty Stadium was cut short, and he was instead loaned to Bournemouth for the second half of the campaign. There, the 20-year-old, who made 25 appearances for Dons in 2021, helped the Cherries to securing a spot in the top flight.

Lee Nicholls - Huddersfield Town

Lee Nicholls kept the most clean sheets in the Championship this season after leaving Dons last summer

Keeper Lee Nicholls has enjoyed a stunning season in Yorkshire. After being released as Dons’ second-choice keeper last summer, Nicholls departed for Huddersfield Town, kept the most clean sheets in the Championship as the Terriers finished third, and could yet play in the Premier League next season after reaching the play-off final last night.

Jordan Bowery - Mansfield Town

Jordan Bowery found the back of the net in the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Northampton

Though he struggled during his time at Stadium MK, Jordan Bowery found home at Mansfield Town for the last two years, and his nine goals this term helped them into the play-offs. In the first leg of the semi-final on Saturday, he netted the Stags’ second against Northampton as they take a lead back to Sixfields on Wednesday.