Loan spells helped Dons youngster Ilunga show what he is capable of

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The teenager believes he was able to show what he can do while out on loan away from MK Dons last season

Brooklyn Ilunga hopes he can make more of an impact on the MK Dons first team this season after spending most of last term out on loan.

The 19-year-old academy product made two appearances in cup competitions for his parent club last year, but got plenty of football at Hemel Hempstead Town in National League South and then Wealdstone in the National League before injury in March cut his campaign short.

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Getting his first real taste of senior football has whet Ilunga’s appetite for this season, where he hopes he can make a bigger impression on new head coach Graham Alexander to work his way into Dons’ first-team plans more often.

“It helped me out a lot,” he said. “At Wealdstone especially, I felt like I was able to express myself more and start to show people what I can do. I was happy to get more games, so I'm happy how it went.”

With the League Two season opener approaching in less than two weeks, Ilunga admitted his pre-season campaign has been hampered by his rehab from the knee injury which ruled him out of the run-in last season.

The intensity of Dons’ training camp out in Germany though has helped the teenager get back up to speed though, and he feels fitter than ever.

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He said: “For me, it has not gone as I wanted it to. I had a little injury but the main thing is now I'm back. I'm feeling fit again, training has been good, the running has been good and I'm feeling more physical.

“The main thing for me was having the right amount of time off to recover properly from my injury. I have now, and I feel like I caught up in Germany.

“I think everyone is excited, and there's a positive feeling. We've put in a lot of work and I hope we can show what we can do.”

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