When Paul Ince switched Macclesfield for MK Dons

On June 25 2007, Paul Ince left Macclesfield Town to become the new MK Dons manager.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 10:16 am
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 11:20 am
Paul Ince had two spells as MK Dons boss

After a remarkable rescue job, saving the Silkmen from relegation out of the Football League, Ince was one of the hottest properties in the lower leagues. But it could have been so different - Macclesfield did not win a league game until the 20th game of the season. From there though, a nine-game undefeated run saw them in with a chance of survival. When he took over at the Moss Rose in October 2006, Macclesfield were seven points adrift at the bottom of the table, but avoided the drop on the last day of the season - Boston would later take a 10-point reduction for going into administration.

When Martin Allen left Dons, who lost in the play-off semi finals to Shrewsbury, for Leicester City, chairman Pete Winkelman was left with another manager search as the club prepared to move into the brand new Stadium MK. He plumped for Ince, and it led to quite a remarkable season.

Ince was not the only one to make the move that season. Alan Navarro and Danny Swailes made the switch early in the season before Carl Regan and Jordan Hadfield also moved to Stadium MK, while John Miles arrived via Accrington.

Ince began his managerial career at Macclesfield, but he left the Silkmen to take charge at Stadium MK.

After losing last season's top scorer Izale McLeod, and then his opening game at home to Bury, Ince returned to Macclesfield for the third game of the campaign and salvaged a dramatic 3-3 draw, courtesy of a last minute Colin Cameron equaliser. The sides would share a 1-1 draw later in the season in Milton Keynes.

Dons had eyes for silverware though and a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Swansea saw them heading to Wembley for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final, which they won beating Grimsby Town 2-1, before claiming the League 2 crown and promotion to League 1 a few weeks later, while Macclesfield finished 19th.

Ince's stock could not have been higher, and his future lay at Ewood Park as Premier League Blackburn came calling for the following season. His return to Stadium MK in 2009 did not bring about the same success as Dons stumbled to a 13th place finish and he left before the end of the season.

His first tenure though, having made the switch from Cheshire, is remembered fondly.