Returning Martin still has MK Dons in his heart

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“Because of my affiliation to this club, my relationship with the chairman, it was the right thing to do”

“If it was any other club, I’d have probably said no,” David Martin admitted after his return to MK Dons was made official.

The goalkeeper is back for a third spell at Stadium MK as confirmed on Friday, but this time he’s taking on a player-coach role following Lewis Price’s cancer diagnosis.

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Martin, the club’s second leading appearance maker behind Dean Lewington, had been back training with the club while looking for other playing opportunities in the summer, with Championship sides sniffing around following his departure from Premier LeagueWest Ham in June.

But when approached by Liams Manning and Sweeting about making his temporary role covering for Price permanent, 36-year-old Martin said his affiliation for the club helped sway his decision to sign.

“Obviously it’s really sad for Pricey, and I think if it wasn’t for that, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Martin told the Citizen. “If another club had called me to ask me to step in, I don’t think I could have done it.

“But because of my affiliation to this club, my relationship with the chairman, it was the right thing to do.

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“It was a tough market this summer, but I had a few things on offer to me from the Championship.

“Liam Manning and Lewis Price were really good to be to initially give me the opportunity to train, and that’s really all it was.”

Though still focussing on his playing career, the coaching side of things is not something unfamiliar for Martin. Having completed his UEFA coaching badges, the keeper admitted putting the theory into practice is harder than he expected, but said having Price at the end of the phone to help him plan and organise sessions for the Dons goalkeepers has been a huge help for him to acclimatise to the position.

He said: “It’s a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. I’ve done my coaching badges for both outfield and goalkeepers, but going out there an putting sessions on for the keepers is difficult, especially when you’re still a player as well.

“Pricey has been great with me though, despite everything he is going through at the moment.

“He is always available for me, he helps plan the sessions and passes them on for me to put into action.”

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