What went down at the MK Dons Player of the Year Awards

It wasn’t just the award winners that were announced on Sunday night at Stadium MK

By The Newsroom
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 6:00 am
<p>Dean Lewington will continue at MK Dons next season after he confirmed on Sunday night he had signed a new contract with the club</p>

Dean Lewington will continue at MK Dons next season after he confirmed on Sunday night he had signed a new contract with the club

For the first time since 2019, a packed out ballroom at Stadium MK was in attendance for the MK Dons Player of the Year Awards and it was not just the prize-giving that got the attention.

With Luke Ashmead and Dean Bowditch on hand to brilliantly compere the evening, there were unexpected guests and breaking news to come from the event.

Here are some of the other headlines to come out of the night.

Blackpool midfielder in attendance

Ethan Robson scored his only MK Dons goal in the 1-0 win over Portsmouth in September. The Blackpool midfielder was a surprise guest at the Player of the Year Awards at Stadium MK last night.

Having spent the first half of the season on loan at MK Dons, Ethan Robson made his Stadium MK return on Sunday night. A popular player in his brief stint at the club, Robson made 23 appearances before he was recalled by parent club Blackpool in January. Since then, he has played all of twice - once in February, and once in April.

Known to have been disappointed by the Tangerines’ decision to recall him at the time, Robson cannot have been satisified with his lack of game-time back at Bloomfield Road and was spotted having a lengthy chat with Liam Manning, Chris Hogg and Liam Sweeting as well as some of his former team-mates.

The 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season.

A new contract for the skipper

It was to be expected, of course, but MK Dons fans have not yet seen the last of Dean Lewington. A few weeks away from his 38th birthday, the skipper won the Chairman’s Award on Sunday for his contributions to the team this year, which of course included taking charge of Dons’ first game of the season away at Bolton Wanderers following the sudden departure of Russell Martin.

Speaking to former team-mate Bowditch on the stage, Lewington told the room that he had signed a new one-year contract to keep him in a Dons shirt and a familiar part of the furniture.

Full focus and an early night to prepare for Wycombe

Liam Manning is interviewed by Dean Bowditch (L) and Luke Ashmead (R) at the MK Dons Player of the Year Awards

With the awards dished out ahead of schedule, the first team squad were swept out of the ballroom at 9.30pm under order of the chairman and head coach Liam Manning - none of the afterparty and festivities for them, with focus fully set on the two play-off games against Wycombe Wanderers this week.

“Our game plan will be to stay calm and focused,” said Manning on stage. “We won’t do anything different. We’ll put the plan together and go from there.

“The Plymouth game felt like a playoff with the cameras and the pressure on it so we’re used to it.”

A dark time for Daniel Harvie

Daniel Harvie has been almost an ever-present for MK Dons this season, but his sending off against Rotherham in March was a dark moment for him this season.

The 2-1 win away at Rotherham in March signalled Dons’ intent to fight their way into contention for an automatic promotion spot - a fight which went right to the wire. Although the triumph was named Team Performance of the Year, for one man it was not a great afternoon.

Daniel Harvie was sent off after just 24 minutes at the New York Stadium, having given away a penalty which handed the Millers the lead.

Left to his own devices in the away dressing room, the Scot admitted he thought about tearing the room up in frustration, but his attitude quickly changed when his team-mates gathered around him at hal-time, and then put in the best performance of the campaign to overturn the deficit and claim all three points.