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Bayo: new energy in squad

29 July 2015

Dons Player interview with striker

Bayo Akinfenwa believes AFC Wimbledon’s squad has the right credentials to achieve a winning habit during 2015/16.

Manager Neal Ardley has worked hard to assemble the right blend of experience and youth with five new players on board and youngsters coming through.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Bayo reckons there is a different vibe about the place – and that includes the singing talent on show during the trip to La Manga!

“I don’t think we have a massive squad with five new players in it, but there are a lot more young players training with us week in and week out,” said Bayo. “Previously they were training with us sporadically. There is a different feel with youngsters coming in and a new, positive energy about the place. The five new players are big characters too.

“The manager is trying to implement a mentality here with grit and aggression about the place. The new players have bought into that, the youngsters have bought into it, and players from last season are trying to do that too. The whole place is positive and it is a nice atmosphere. I think we have a good team ethic and hopefully that will hold us in good stead throughout the season.

“I am not a massive fan of pre-season tours, but this one ticked all the boxes. It had the right amount of training and team bonding, which was immense. The initiations showed that we have some good singers! I was very impressed with Lyle Taylor and Jon Meades was all right to be fair, but Tom Elliott was not the best!”

However, Bayo expects Wimbledon’s attacking additions to hit the right notes on the pitch next season.

“If we click up front we should be a handful,” added Bayo. “I think we have got everything up there with pace, power and trickery. We had good players last season, but I think we have more seasoned players now, who have played at this level or higher. Tom Elliott played at Cambridge and Lyle Taylor has been at Scunthorpe and Sheffield United. Lyle has already scored four goals in three games and we have seen the pace and power that Tom can bring.

“It looks like we are going to play with three up front and the manager will have an array of options. Sean Rigg and Andy Barcham can also play up there. We are not completely there yet because it will come with training and games, but we are going in the right direction and I am sure we will score plenty of goals.”

The full six-minute interview with Bayo is now on Dons Player, which also includes Neal Ardley’s update ahead of two games in three days, starting with Kingstonian tomorrow night.


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