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Ade's Oxford incentive

21 November 2014

Dons striker hopes for head-to-head battle

Ade Azeez says he’s relishing a potential battle with his good friend Tareiq Holmes-Dennis at the Kassam Stadium tomorrow.

Azeez (pictured) hopes to play a part at Oxford United tomorrow after his impressive recent displays and he could come up against his former Charlton Athletic team-mate Holmes Dennis, a left-back who is on loan from the Addicks.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Azeez said: “I’m really looking forward to playing at Oxford because Tariq is a good friend of mine and hopefully I’ll be up against him at one stage of the game. We were at Charlton together and I’ve known Tariq for a quite a long time. It will be good to catch-up with him before the game. I’ve heard it’s a nice stadium at Oxford and hopefully we can get a good result on Saturday and turn around the form there.

“We’ve been strong at home, but we know that our away form has to improve. The manager and his coaching staff have been demanding a high intensity in training and I think that’s starting to show.”

Azeez, who joined Wimbledon in the summer after leaving Charlton Athletic now believes he’s in the right place to realise his rich potential – and vindicate his decision to choose football over gymnastics.

The 20-year-old, who was released by the Addicks after loan spells at Wycombe Wanderers, Leyton Orient, Torquay United and Dagenham, decided to become a professional footballer at the age of 12 instead of continuing with his gymnastics training at the Bromley Valley Gymnastics Centre.

“I think gymnastics did help me a lot physically for my football because it made me stronger,” added Azeez. “But it got to the stage when I was playing football and doing gymnastics and I had to decide between the two. It was becoming a lot of money to do both so my Mum told me I had to make a decision. Football was my first love so I thought I would go down this path and hopefully I can keep going.

“It’s nice to know that I have stability and I’m not just going to be here for one or two months. It has given me that sense that I belong here. I think the fans get behind you because they see you as one of their own and not someone who will be leaving in two weeks. They know you’re here for the long haul and I think that really helps. Playing in front of fans at Wimbledon who make a lot of noise is what you want as a player and it’s completely different from Under-21 football.

“I’ve always had pace and I don’t want that to go, but the manager here has really helped me with my movement and hold-up play. I’ve been learning all the time. The manager puts me on for a reason and that’s to try and affect the game. Obviously, every player prefers to start, but if he puts me on for 15 minutes then I will put everything into it to help the team.”

      if you missed Neal’s update for the official website yesterday.Team NewsThe full interview with Ade Azeez appeared on Dons Player yesterday, along with Neal Ardley’s update. Click on 

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