Striker enjoying learning from a master striker
Bayo Akinfenwa believes he’s learning plenty more about the art of forward play at the age of 32 since David Connolly returned to Wimbledon.
Bayo struck twice against Newport on Saturday and could have had a hat-trick after uncharacteristically missing a penalty, but he saluted his 37-year-old strike partner for bringing in a fresh approach since arriving last month.
“At the age of 32 I’m still learning off him,” said Bayo. “As you get older you lose the legs, but his mind is as sharp as anything. He has pulled me into positions and keeps talking on the pitch. I’m a seasoned veteran in the game, but I’m learning a lot off DC. It can only be a beautiful thing. If I’m taking things from his game, then what can the younger centre forwards learn?
“At the age of 37 David is still running around making intelligent runs and it was a great signing by the manager. We are learning off him on and off the pitch.”
A Republic of Ireland international, David has an average scoring ratio of one goal every 2.5 games with the majority of his career spent playing in the top two divisions with clubs including Wimbledon, Sunderland and Leicester.
Wimbledon face the ultimate test at League 2 leaders Burton Albion tonight, but they go into that match with Bayo in optimistic mood about the progress made in recent weeks. The striker added that young players brought in by Neal Ardley have rejuvenated the whole squad.
“Before Christmas we were an older and more experienced squad, but now we have a younger team,” said Bayo. “The older players are getting that vibe off the younger players and we’re trying to keep them grounded. We are trying to make sure that they look at the bigger picture, but take it one game at a time. We are enjoying training and games at the moment. I think we showed that even before Newport had a man sent off as we looked comfortable.
“Believe it or not, but I am a penalty taker! You would not believe it though after that penalty. But the bottom line is that we got three points and we continued on this roll. We have a lot of games coming up, but we have a good team spirit and are confident at the moment.”
The picture above (taken by Paul Willatts) shows Bayo receiving congratulations from his team-mates after his opening goal versus Newport on Saturday.
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