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Page last updated at 16:14 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 17:14 UK

MK Dons sign Dietmar Hamann as player-coach


Hamann targets MK Dons promotion

MK Dons have signed former Liverpool and Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann on a one-year contract.

The 36-year-old, who has not played a professional game since leaving Manchester City last July, will become a player-coach at Stadium MK.

He told BBC Three Counties Radio: "I had a few options last year but the right thing wasn't there.

"It's a professionally run football club. It's a club that wants to go higher and into the Championship."

Dons boss Karl Robinson worked as a youth coach at Anfield while Hamann was a player there, but Hamann says the pair have had little interaction until recently.

"I didn't really know him personally but we spoke a few weeks ago and I thought it was worth having a chat," he said.


"I was instantly attracted by the possibility to play another year here and to do some coaching as well.

"We managed to work something out and I'm happy to be here."

Hamann may be coming towards the back end of his career but he has moved to reassure Dons fans that his fitness will not be a problem.

"I always knew how to look after myself. There's six or eight weeks now until the first game and I will get myself into good shape," he said.

"Obviously it's a different type of football in League One, but I'll make sure I'm in tip-top shape and won't let anyone down here."

Robinson, who has made Hamann his fourth signing since taking over as manager from Paul Ince, was thrilled with the acquisition.

"This club has always had its legends on the touchline, I've actually put one on the pitch," he said.

"But this isn't for me, this is for the fans. They want to see football, they want to see class and I think we've got one of the best holding midfield players this country has ever seen.

"We're looking for him to play 35 games this year. Anything over 35 is going to be a bonus.

"We'll play 46 league games, if he plays 35 or more, I'll tell you now, we're going up."

At international level, Hamann won 59 caps for Germany and was part of the 1998 and 2002 World Cup squads, as well as the European Championships in 2000 and 2004.

Following his success in the World Cup in France in 1998, he made his move to the Premier League from Bayern Munich and joined Newcastle United for £5.5m, scoring five goals in 31 appearances.

Hamann then joined Liverpool, making 282 appearances in seven years and helping Rafa Benitez's side clinch the Champions League.

After a very brief spell at Bolton in 2006, he moved to Manchester City for £400,000 and spent three years at Eastlands before being released last summer.

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