Miller to leave Dons, Cooke to take charge

Tony Miller (right) will stand down as Dons head coach at the end of the season with Paul Cooke (left) stepping in.
Tony Miller (right) will stand down as Dons head coach at the end of the season with Paul Cooke (left) stepping in.

Tony Miller will step down as Dons head coach at the end of the season with talismanic stand off Paul Cooke set to take over.

Miller will end his 23-year association with the Dons at the end of the current Championship season due to increasing work commitments.

And Cooke has immediately been installed as Miller’s successor as player-coach.

“It’s been a tough decision but I feel now is the right time to leave,” Miller said.

“One of the key reasons is I wouldn’t be able to do the job to the best of my abilities.

“Anything I’ve done, I’ve always tried to give 100 per cent commitment to and I wouldn’t be able to do this.

“I fully back the club’s decision to appoint Paul and I’ll give him all the help he needs.

“I believe he’ll turn out to be a great coach.”

Cooke is delighted to have been offered the chance to succeed Miller.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to the new challenge and I will do my best to improve the players not only as individuals but as a group.

“A massive thanks to Tony and the backroom staff for helping me in my return to the game.”

Miller has been involved with the Dons for 23 years as player, three-time assistant and two-time head coach.

He will leave the club fresh from the highs of last year which brought the Dons’ first title as part of the league and play-off double.

He said: “Last year was very special to me. Winning the league title for the first time in the Dons’ history and beating Barrow in the play-offs will live with me forever.”

Chief executive Carl Hall said: “Tony has been magnificent for the Dons over the last few years and will leave as the club’s most successful coach.

“He’s also a great friend of mine, we’ve gone through a lot together so it’s going to be very hard not having him around.”