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7 July 2013

Gills striker believes game can improve under Martin Allen

Bayo Akinfenwa says it was the ambition of the football club that tempted him to re-sign for Gillingham.

The striker played 45 minutes in the 3-0 win over Bromley at Hayes Lane on Saturday, and he is now looking forward to bonding with the rest of the squad during the club’s pre-season training camp in Le Touquet.

Speaking after the game he said:

“It’s always a bit shaky when you come back in your first game but it was nice to get a run out. It was hot out there but it was good to get the legs moving.

“I don’t like pre-season period but you have to get it in and it’s something that is part and parcel of football.

“It will be good because it will allow everybody to bond, six days away and you get to gel as a squad so I think it’s a good idea and by the end of next week I think we will be a closer squad.”

Bayo said the club has moved forward since he left in May of 2011 but admitted he always kept one eye on the Gills results while at Northampton.

He added:  “It’s moved on – I knew that from speaking to the gaffer, it’s always been an ambitious club but its being put in to actions now.

"The players are a very good standard and the gaffer is meticulous in everything he does so it looks like its moving in the direction it wants to go.

“I kept an eye on it and enjoyed my time immensely the first time around so it was an easy decision to come back and you always keep an eye on places that you leave where you enjoyed.

“It’s a squad game and I know what I can bring to the team and as long as I’m putting in my performances and helping the youngsters on I’ll be happy with that.”

Martin had said in his interview following the match that Bayo had financially better options elsewhere, but the striker was adamant he wanted to join Gillingham for the ambitions the club had and said signing a contract didn’t take much convincing.

He added: “It shows that I believe in my ability in one but also in what the gaffer had to say, I sat with the Chairman aswell and I get on well with him so I’m happy to be here.

“He said what his plans were for the season and he didn’t have to convince me much and I bought in to it.

“I had a few offers on the table, I had a two-year contract close to home but Gillingham is where I wanted to be.

“Every day is a learning day and the day where you can’t learn is the day you have to hang up your boots. I can learn from him and I think I’m the second oldest here so hopefully they can learn from me also.

“Every training session is a learning day too and I’m enjoying it.”

The former Swansea forward said his fellow strikers all have qualities that will be valuable to the team, before revealing he didn’t believe there was a massive difference between Leagues One and Two.

He said: “Me and Keds have come up against each other over the years and I’m a great admirer of his. Birchy is a great finisher and German is full of promise.”

“I don’t think there is much of a gap [between the divisions] but you have to look at the teams that are down there – Wolves, Sheffield United, MK Dons. It’s a strong League One but you just have to apply yourselves, a Conference team can beat you if you don’t put in the work.

“You have to do the basics right and that’s hard work and the gaffer won't ease up on that so I wouldn’t come here if I didn’t think we would do well and I think it will be an interesting season for us.”

Bayo’s video interview will be available for viewing on the website Monday morning.

To see his exclusive interview for Gills Player click here.

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