‘GAP YEAR’ ADAM SEEKS NEW START

You fit for some, not for oth­ers, ad­mits Le Fondre

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By David Bates

ADAM LE FONDRE in­sists he bears no mal­ice to Cardiff City, de­spite end­ing a mis­er­able two-year pe­riod that he de­scribes as the big­gest re­gret of his life.

The striker is in the fi­nal year of a three-year con­tract with the Welsh side but will see out that pe­riod un­der Gary Cald­well at Wi­gan Athletic af­ter se­cur­ing a dead­line-day move to the DW Sta­dium.

Le Fondre, 29, scored 39 goals in 53 league ap­pear­ances for Read­ing be­fore mov­ing to the Blue­birds.

But, af­ter a dour first six months with Cardiff, in which he scored just three times, he was loaned out to Bolton and then Wolves last sea­son.

A move in­tended to bring goals and first-team foot­ball in­stead brought more af­ter­noons sat on the sub­sti­tutes’ bench as Le Fondre found him­self out of favour un­der Kenny Jack­ett at Wolves and tac­ti­cally out of place.

Backed

Yet, for a striker who has hit such a sub­stan­tial road block in his ca­reer, Le Fondre re­tains hope for what lies ahead af­ter a move that has breathed life into both his per­sonal and pro­fes­sional life.

“There is no-one hap­pier than my wife, Amy, right now. My whole fam­ily is be­hind me as they al­ways have been with every­thing I have done,” said Le Fondre.

“They are de­lighted. They would’ve backed me to stay at Cardiff, but it didn’t work out that way.

“I didn’t do well at Cardiff – that is my big­gest re­gret. I haven’t jus­ti­fied my­self there and haven’t done enough to turn around what was a bad start for me in the first six months of my ca­reer there.

“Last sea­son didn’t hap­pen for me when I went to Wolves.

“I didn’t re­ally play and the style of foot­ball didn’t suit me as a player. It hasn’t done me any favours. I am look­ing to work hard now, score goals and see where that takes me.

“It feels like last sea­son was a gap year. I didn’t re­ally play at all. I was sub­sti­tute far too much. You fit for some peo­ple and you don’t fit for oth­ers. I am just lucky I can take hold of this with two hands now.”

With Le Fondre’s three chil­dren, Amelia, Ari­ana and Aubree, and his wife mir­ror­ing the striker’s re­lief at a move away from Cardiff and, with an un­happy pre-sea­son be­hind now him, the for­mer Stock­port County star is rar­ing to go for Wi­gan.

Nev­er­the­less, the pre­vi­ously pro­lific striker seems con­fused by the fi­nal few months of his time in Wales.

New man­ager Paul Trol­lope had ex­pressed his ad­mi­ra­tion for Le Fondre, but he was still re­jected to train with the Un­der21s.

“I went back in with an open mind and thought I would be in with a shout of play­ing there be­cause I knew Paul re­ally likes me and rates me,” Le Fondre said. “Other cir­cum­stances meant they just wanted to get rid of me and a cou­ple of oth­ers – that’s their pre­rog­a­tive.

“I tried to do my best. I thank the U21s man­ager Kev Ni­chol­son and Michael John­son, who worked re­ally hard with me. I tried to be as pro­fes­sional as I could be with­out be­ing a nui­sance.

“Cardiff wanted me to leave and that is their de­ci­sion. I would’ve liked to play for the first team. I was still talk­ing to the boys con­stantly.

“I would come in, say hello to the boys and train with the U21s. It was awk­ward, but it hap­pens to big­ger play­ers than me.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

RE­GRETS: Adam Le Fondre had more than a few at Cardiff and, in­set, on loan at Wolves

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