Episode 12 - End of an Era
Martin, you're next!
AS the MK Dons prepared to celebrate their 10th anniversary under the current branding, the only player to have played in every season for them finally walked out on the club.
, who also played under the former club Wimbledon, had his contract terminated just days after celebrating a first ever promotion to the Championship for the Dons
, all under his captaincy.
While the exact reasons* for the shock exit are unknown, manager Karl Robinson's decision is reportedly due to deeming Lewington surplus to requirements. Last season, having frequented the substitutes' bench thanks to the impressive form of youngster Gedeon Okito, Lewington spoke of his uncertainty over his future at the second-tier newcomers, reiterating that he intended to see out the 2013/14 season before making a final decision on his future at the club.
Further doubts were cast after the arrival of Lee Wallace from Rangers on a cut-price deal, although the eventual termination of "Lewy"'s contract was not said to be one that both player and manager fully agreed on.
While fans of the Milton Keynes club expressed their sadness and disappointment, there was a general agreement between them that this day was always going to come, and many have already stated they would welcome him back in a more senior role in the future. For the time being, however, Darren Potter will take over as captain of the side, with Tom Flanagan being appointed his deputy.
Outside of the fanbase, there has been an air of hilarity and delight over the release. Several Football League fans took to social networks to make their own comments on the situation, with one Twitter user saying "Hahaha! The face of the franchise is gone! #TaxiForLewington"
*Okay guys, I have to admit here that I cocked up pretty badly. I never intended to release Lewington, but nor did I ever intend to renew his contract once it expired in 2015. So, I was completely oblivious to the fact that his current deal had a "match highest earner" clause in it...you can probably guess the rest, but let me go on. When I brought in a new, high-earning player, Lewington's contract went from a few grand a week to something like 10k. And, as this was only in June, once promotion bonuses were activated, that figure went up by another 20%.
Yeah. There's a reason why I always get rid of them bloody clauses. And frankly, I wasn't going to pay thirteen thousand a week to an aging substitute, was I? So, it had to be done. But damn, did I screw up.
Ins and Outs
Name: Simon Higgins
Date of Birth: 13th November 1997
Previous Clubs: Ebbsfleet United
It was a busy transfer window for us, but Higgins was possibly my favourite buy, and I have only my scout to thank, whichever one it was.
I'm not sure how a club formerly owned by a group of internet investors manged to produce such a good youth talent, but at just £14,000, I'll happily snap that shit up.
Elsewhere, Irishmen Gleeson and McLoughlin were probably the biggest departures this window. Gleeson was pretty mediocre last season even in League One, and I felt like cashing in while I still could. McLoughlin was given plenty of chances to impress last season, but rarely took them, so I was more than happy to respond to interest from, weirdly, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, among others.
Lewis Milne was signed on a pre-contract in January and arrives in good shape, while an entire new back four in the form of Wallace, Maguire, Devine and Christie were signed for just under £2,000,000 combined transfer fees. Originally, I had tried to sign James Tavernier on a much lower transfer fee than Christie, but the bastard went and chose Dundee United instead. They'll rarely be playing all at once, but it's always nice to have depth, and Maguire seems like a real steal.
Midfielder Jason Holt is brought in to bolster the attacking midfield department and will compete with Giorgio Rasulo and Ryan Hall for the Trequartista spot. After a lot of interest from myself and other clubs in the past, Luke Moore joins on a free transfer to replace Danny Handling, who I chose not to loan in again. However, as is my usual luck with transfers, both Moore and backup striker Daniel Powell were injured in friendlies, which can only spell disaster for the start of the season...
An unbelievably up-and-down set of pre-season fixtures. We started off with a bang against Alloa, but honestly I expected nothing less. The Solihull Moors game also, as expected, went exactly to plan. We played brilliantly against Lille and Motherwell and were very unlucky not to win at least one, in fact we were even able to dominate Marseille away from home.
Naturally, I got pretty cocky following the Marseille result and told my team I expected them to win against Lille. Of course, though, all good things must come to an end, and were it not for a late Holt consolation, the score would have looked far more one-sided. The final friendly saw us return to Scotlan for a match with Ross County, and although putting a decent account for ourselves on the pitch, Ross County decided the best way to succeed was to injure three of my players, including Daniel Powell, in injury time (hur de hur), which sees me start the season without a senior striker. Well, jokes on you, County, you didn't win after all!
New Season, New Kits
Kit making is not something I often do, and in fact I hadn't taken to SSD for a pretty long time before this, but I had a few ideas in mind for kits for the coming season, so decided to dust off the...err, colour pallette?
Anyway, they all look rather unpolished and extraordinarily unprofessional, but it's nice to have them in the game.
First two are pretty basic, just your average kit templates with an unlikely sponsor. Third kit is supposed to be a special '10th anniversary' kit, and I'm actually quite pleased with how it turned out.
Thanks for joining me for this episode, next update will feature the highly anticipated start to the season, so be sure to check it out!
"RELEASE THE KRAKEN!”
- Some North American commentator or other following a John Arne Riise free kick goal.