Liam Manning and Liam Sweeting talk change as MK Dons reveal retained list

    Image Credit: Milton Keynes Dons Football Club

    Milton Keynes Dons have revealed their retained list for the 2022/23 season, and change is on the horizon for the club.

    14 players are under contract to play for the Dons next season, with Daniel Harvie and Tennai Watson seeing their contracts extended courtesy of a club option clause.

    David Kasumu and Josh McEachran, two influential figures in the heart of midfield for the Dons, have also been offered new deals but are yet to make decisions over their respective futures at Stadium MK.

    However, not all players that played a part in last season's third-place finish will be back next time around and Aden Baldwin, Jay Bird, Hiram Boateng, John Freeman, Brandon Mason and Connor Wickham have all been allowed to depart on free transfers - with Boateng confirming the news earlier on social media.

    With six players leaving, and the futures of two others still undecided, the Dons will have yet another round of rebuilding within the squad, with both Sporting Director Liam Sweeting and Head Coach Liam Manning commenting on change being a part of the process for football clubs.

    Sweeting stated: "Starting with the players who joined us on loan, we thank them for their efforts and how they bought into the culture we have at MK Dons. I believe all of them, as well as those who left in January, will have positive things to say about MK Dons and how they improved as a player and a person here."

    "Part and parcel of the game is then saying goodbye to some players at the end of their contracts. Some of these guys have been with the Club a long time, such as Hiram, who made a real impact last season, as well as Jay and John who came through our Academy. I want to reinforce that we remain available to help in any way that we can as they approach the next chapter of their careers."

    He concluded: "Managing change is something we have been able to do well over the last 12 months and this will be something that remains important as we go through another summer window as a League One club. I'm excited by the types of players we are discussing and remain confident we will be competitive again come the start of the 2022/23 season."

    Manning commented: "It is always difficult having to say goodbye to those who have contributed over the course of the season. We are grateful to the efforts of all those who are leaving us, including the five loan players who showed real commitment and desire despite only spending a short few months here at Stadium MK."

    "Change is part and parcel of the industry and is something we, as a Football Club, must embrace if we are to continue evolving. This transfer window provides us with another opportunity to build and improve on what is a talented young squad and that is something we are working hard on already, ahead of next season."

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