Key striker commits future despite other offers
We are delighted to announce that Bayo Akinfenwa is staying at AFC Wimbledon after he turned down interest from home and abroad to sign a new deal.
The experienced striker, who struck 15 goals during an impressive debut season with Wimbledon, revealed shortly after signing that he had an offer to play Major League Soccer in America and just this morning a rival League 2 club enquired about his services.
Speaking during an extensive interview for Dons Player, Bayo Akinfenwa said: “There was a lot of interest in me, but that was not the sole reason for me going to America. It was also about my brand and shooting a documentary. I met with a couple of clubs in America and there was also interest from League 1 and League 2 clubs. I even got a call from a club as I was driving in here today. As a player you can only feel blessed that there are people interested in your services, but my heart has always been with AFC Wimbledon.
“I think I have to apologise for making the fans wait for me to sign. I had to take a few things into consideration, but in my heart of hearts I always thought this was where I would end up. I think we underachieved with the squad that we had last season, but it was still progression as we got the highest points total since the club was reformed.
“Last season we never got to achieve what we wanted, but hopefully by the grace of God we will next season and get closer to the play-offs. The manager was the number one reason why I came here first time around, but second time around the love from the fans and the players came into the equation.”
Manager Neal Ardley expressed his delight after Bayo decided to stay for a second season with AFC Wimbledon.
“I am very happy that Bayo has agreed to stay with us,” said Neal. “I knew he would have interest from elsewhere before he went away for the summer. Bayo mentioned that he was going to America and he wanted to have a look at that, but he said if he came back here then he would sign for us.
“Bayo has been true to his word and I did not expect anything less from him. I am delighted because he was a big part of what we did last season. If we can put better players around him than we perhaps did last season and play good attacking football then we may be able to achieve something.”
A full interview with Bayo Akinfenwa and a transfer update from Neal Ardley will be on Dons Player later this afternoon.