Aylesbury FC manager Craig Faulconbridge says the strengthening of links between the Moles and League One side MK Dons can be ‘mutually beneficial on and off the pitch’.
FC announced this week that their relationship with the Dons – who initially upset the club a few years ago with its advances into Aylesbury – is set to progress further after high level talks.
In the short-term, the benefits come in the form of a special matchday dedicated to the town on Saturday November 30 at the club’s game against Coventry City at stadium:mk.
But Faulconbridge says the link-up could also prove key on the pitch with players coming from the Dons to FC for experience and top young players in Aylesbury catching the eye of the League One club.
“It enables us to be a catchment for MK, it brings the distance between Aylesbury and MK that much closer together,” Faulconbridge said.
“Aside from the community stuff where it gives their fans information so they can come and watch us and see what we’re up to when Dons aren’t playing or are a long way away, it also means we might have one or two players who aren’t in their team coming down for game time with us.
“And on the other side there is the added incentive for young players here where MK Dons might say ‘we like the look of him, we’ll have him’ so it is mutually beneficial.”
The ‘MK Dons Aylesbury Big Day’ will see a whole host of special ticket deals for the November fixture and match entertainment provided by Aylesbury-based entertainers all preceded by a series of football events in the town throughout the next month.
MK Dons will also be promoting a future Aylesbury FC game to Dons supporters and will be engaging in a number of initiatives with Aylesbury FC over the next few months.
FC chairman Danny Martone says there are exciting times ahead.
He said: “Aylesbury’s senior club has lots of links around the town and the county offering good football opportunities whether you are a player or a spectator and it sees this link with MK Dons as another positive step in the club’s growth.
“Having played MK twice and met their chairman Pete Winkelman, I have seen what can be achieved in football by involving the local community and this is another step by the club to attract more people into the game and we hope that the fans of both teams will take advantage of the special offers being given to them so we can improve our fanbase as well as MK’s.
“I would also like to think that the local businesses will also see this as a positive step and they will look to get involved so we can continue to grow football at grass roots level and bring non league success to Aylesbury again while our good friends at MK look for Premier League status.”
Andrew Cullen, football executive director at MK Dons added: “We are excited about the prospect of strengthening our relationship with Aylesbury FC and promoting the town and everything special Aylesbury has to offer to our supporters.”