Irish eyes are smiling under new MK Dons regime

Irish midfielders Dawson Devoy and Conor Grant feel they are thriving under the new MK Dons head coach
Dawson DevoyDawson Devoy
Dawson Devoy

The arrival of Mike Williamson at MK Dons has helped bring the best out of several players, not least his Irish contingent.

The likes of Conor Grant and Dawson Devoy have been important parts of the side in the last six weeks, with Grant in particular becoming a regular in the team under the new head coach.

After a difficult year for both Devoy and Grant, having moved to Stadium MK in the summer of 2022, both now feel they are starting to find their feet.

“It has been a tough time since I came in, there has been a lot of change at the club,” said Devoy. “But that can be a good thing. I've played under a few different managers, a few different styles, but I think I'm developing.

“Since the gaffer has come in, he's really helped me adapt to a new style, and I'm really enjoying it. It's a new style, but you can see all the lads are really enjoying it.

“It's competitive all over the pitch, we've got a lot of players in all sorts of different positions. Whether you're playing or not, there's another player waiting to do a job. If you get a chance, you have to take it. But we're all enjoying the competition, so it's good.”

Grant had sporadic runs in the team last season, making 38 appearances under both Liam Manning and Mark Jackson, and only made four appearances under Graham Alexander’s watch, but has become a regular name in Williamson’s starting line-up.

He, like Devoy, believes Williamson’s style will not only get the best out of him, but the rest of the team too. 

He said: “(Last season) was difficult, but there were a lot of good players in the squad, and I had to battle for a place in the team. I felt I finished the season well, had a good run of games, and then this year obviously didn't started how I'd hoped.

“I'm trying to keep my spot in the team, perform as best I can and stay in there. We've been putting some good results together too, which always helps confidence in me and everyone.

“How Mike wants us to play suits me much more as a player.

“The last few weeks have been massive. There were a lot of games when he first came in so we didn't get a lot of training time, but the last few weeks have been really good.

“We're all understanding what he wants a lot more, and you can see it coming out on the pitch now.”