Winkelman excited by host status

16 December 2009 04:30
The Dons only moved into the Buckinghamshire town in 2003 but have seen attendances steadily rise since they moved to their state-of-the-art arena in 2007.

With excellent transport links and the support of both residents and the public sector, Winkelman was confident of being chosen by the selection panel led by Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney and is excited about the challenge ahead.

He told Sky Sports News: "It doesn't surprise me - we've had complete political unity in the city and everyone from the police to the NHS have been backing the bid.

"That is what made our bid stand out.

"To be in amongst a host of fantastic footballing cities around the country is so exciting for us and we can't wait to support the whole bid.

"It will be great for the country if we can pull this off for 2018."

Winkelman is no stranger to adversity after relocating Wimbledon up the M1 and is confident that the Dons will justify a home of over 40,000 seats by the time the world's best players may be in attendance.

He said: "It's reward for the emphasis that the city of Milton Keynes has put on football and its development.

"The city wasn't even on the map when we hosted the World Cup in 1966 so this will be a huge part of the history of Milton Keynes.

"We have got a role to play, stadium:mk is only halfway there at the moment but people have seen the quality of it and we have the record of delivering the infrastructure.

"The upper tier of the stadium is there already so it will go to 32,000 very easily, we just need to bolt the seats in.

"But to get up to World Cup standard of 44,000 the roof will come off on the east and north stands and a third tier will go on.

"It will be very similar to the City of Manchester Stadium.

"My task over the next few years is to continue to grow this football club to ensure that we can fill those seats after the World Cup but what a challenge to be involved in."

Source: Team_Talk