Dean Lewington always knew he would return to MK Dons despite being exiled by former boss Robbie Neilson.
Lewington is set to start his 15th season as a professional, and looks in line to lead Paul Tisdale's side out at Boundary Park when Dons take on Oldham in the League 2 opener on Saturday.
But his career at the club could have been over when he and Neilson clashed last season, forcing the 34-year-old to seek sanctuary under Karl Robinson, then at Charlton. After Neilson was sacked in January though, Lewington returned to the club and went straight back into the first team under Dan Micciche as Dons suffered relegation from League 1.
"I was always confident I would last longer than he would so I expected to be back!" said Lewington.
A regular throughout his career, the skipper admitted his selection this season is no guarantee and he will train just as hard as his team-mates and let manager Paul Tisdale make the selection decisions.
He said: "Like any other player, I train to be as fit as I can and then it's down to the manager to make the decisions. There are no promises, you have no god-given right to play just because you've been here for so many years. Football doesn't work like that - it's a merit business.
"The manager will pick the best team he sees for Saturday and hopefully for myself I want to be in it, and if not, I'll work hard to get in it."