‘GAP YEAR’ ADAM SEEKS NEW START
You fit for some, not for others, admits Le Fondre
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.
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.”
REGRETS: Adam Le Fondre had more than a few at Cardiff and, inset, on loan at Wolves