Retirement is still not on Lewington’s mind, but he will know when it’s time to call it quits

The MK Dons captain is still going strong

The idea of retirement still hasn’t crossed Dean Lewington’s mind.

Having gone through his 22nd pre-season, the 38-year-old started back in a familiar left-back slot on Saturday for Dons’ opening day defeat at Cambridge United.

With Dons looking as though a back four will be their deployment of choice this season, Lewington may start to see his game time begin to lessen this season, as Jack Tucker and Warren O’Hora settle at centre-back and Daniel Harvie returns from injury in the left-back position.

But while Lewington is being asked to do the job for head coach Liam Manning, he insists there is no reason to consider hanging up his boots.

“It's not something I think or worry about,” said the skipper. “I take it game-by-game and see how I feel. I feel like I did last season, I'm in a good place. As long as I'm of value, doing the job the gaffer wants and I'm happy.

“When it starts becoming about age not quality, that's when it becomes a problem. As long as my quality is high enough to warrant a place in the team, I'm happy to keep going.

“I'll know when the time is right when the time comes.”

For Manning, on and off the field, Lewington has been a vital part of the Dons fold. The head coach praised his captain for the role he played in helping the coaches adapt to life at the club last season, while being an almost ever-present in the side.

“What a person and what a character,” said Manning. “I cannot speak highly enough of him. He was massive for me and the staff last season.

“He has come back in great shape - we did a run recently and everyone was on the floor. One of the staff asked him how he's still doing, and his response was 'WHY am I doing it?!'

“He’s a great example for so many players for his longevity and how to go about doing that. Skip had consistency last season and that is so important for the group.”