The Beast sees beauty in team spirit that proved so suc­cess­ful

Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa notes promis­ing com­par­isons with AFC Wim­ble­don in Wan­der­ers’ dress­ing room

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - WYCOMBE WANDERERS - by Tim Street tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @Street­boyTim

ADE­BAYO Ak­in­fenwa be­lieves Wy­combe Wan­der­ers can em­u­late what AFC Wim­ble­don did last sea­son and reach the promised land of League One.

A year af­ter Wy­combe lost the League Two play-off fi­nal, Wim­ble­don went one bet­ter by beat­ing Plymouth at Wem­b­ley to reach a level Wy­combe have not played at for four years.

Ak­in­fenwa bagged the Dons’ sec­ond goal in their Wem­b­ley win be­fore be­ing re­leased by the club and mak­ing Wy­combe the next stop on his famed ca­reer.

He said: “It’s very sim­i­lar to Wim­ble­don here, there’s a very sim­i­lar spirit. It’s a very fam­ily-ori­en­tated club, but it’s also been tough ev­ery time I’ve played them.

“From Jan­uary on­wards last sea­son there was a to­geth­er­ness at Wim­ble­don – win, lose or draw we stuck to­gether. We aimed to get into the play-offs, and once we got there we didn’t look back.

“Team spirit and to­geth­er­ness goes a long way, and it seems like that here too. Both teams have play­ers who wear heart on sleeve, and when you cross the white line you know you’re in it to­gether.

“I’m not a young pup, I’ve been around and played against a lot of these play­ers. Wy­combe are one of the teams that has nul­li­fied me, so I know how good they are.”

Ak­in­fenwa fa­mously asked man­agers to What­sApp him dur­ing his post-match in­ter­views at Wem­b­ley, know­ing he was about to be re­leased, and ac­tu­ally turned down of­fers from around the globe to choose Adams Park as his next des­ti­na­tion.

It helped that Wy­combe is just a short jour­ney down the M40 from Lon­don, the cen­tre of op­er­a­tions for Ak­in­fenwa’s Beast­Mode cloth­ing la­bel – built on his sta­tus as the world’s strong­est foot­baller.

He added: “I got a new phone, so not many could get me on What­sApp – I didn’t think that one through!

“But the gaffer got hold of me and this is where I wanted to be.

“I had a lot of in­ter­est at the age of 34, which is nice, from all over the world too, which was a bit strange – places like Aus­tralia, Mex­ico and Qatar.

“It was mad to be think­ing all these places know about me, but I didn’t want to go too far as I’ve got too much go­ing on here.

“Lo­ca­tion was key as I’ve got a lot of things go­ing on in Lon­don and this isn’t too far away. It all mar­ried up and ticked more boxes than not.”

No bet­ter send-off: Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa scores a penalty for AFC Wim­ble­don against Plymouth Argyle in the League Two play-off fi­nal at Wem­b­ley in May.

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