Happy days this morning after getting up at something O clock to watch the mighty AFC Wimbledon win their playoff final to make the third tier League One for the first time and a mere 14 years after being created from the Ashes of the old Wimbledon. That’s a long story, and we’ve already written that one on the history of AFC Wimbledon, so why not read it now or later. Or never but that’s your loss. But we just wanted to prove that we’ve been on The Beast bandwagon for some time.
So, it was with great sadness that the news not long after the game was that the big man known as The Beast and by his birth name Adebayo Akinfenwa has been released by AFC Wimbledon. After watching all three games of the Dons playoff series, it is safe to say that the big man was the difference in the first two legs, and hugely responsible for getting them to Wimbledon. He didn’t shirk in the final though, despite the limited minutes, and got the reward right at the end after winning the argument about who was to take the 100th minute penalty spot kick. As if anyone could win that argument against The Beast.
A pity he couldn’t win the argument about keeping his place in the side for next season, as he deserves a crack at the next division as much or more than anyone. But alas the Beast’s story will be told elsewhere in 2016-17.
But out of the gloom of an Adebayo-free Wimbledon campaign came the suggestion that he cold join the A League next year. All we can say is Yes Please. And someone make this happen.
If the Brisbane Roar were able to (clean and) snatch the bench pressing king footballer for the next A League season, it would guarantee that The Gurgler’s attendance would increase by plenty. As in, we would actually go to a game next season.
If any Australian sporting league needs a big personality it is the A League. Underneath an intensely loyal band of fans, the summer based A League is met with indifference, or outright disdain, with interest peaking at the weekend news snippet for most. And that’s when there’s not any winter footy or Ashes cricket. With Archie Thompson not guaranteed of playing in the A League next year, the league is in more need than ever. The man known as The Beast has plenty of personality, and would be a massive hit with the kids and serious fans alike. He would also attract some interest
Australian media will point to his size, which appears more accustomed to rugby league, but he has skills to burn and a surprising turn of speed for a big man. He will also hopefully come under less attention of defenders and referees with less notoriety in Australia.
Football fans may point out that The Beast has only ever played in the third and mainly the fourth tier in English football. But those naysayers shouldn’t kid themselves, and you would only have had to watch some of the action from both the League One and Two playoffs this month or attended a live game in the UK (which we’ve been lucky to do in both divisions) to know that the standard of play between the A League and League One and Two is quite comparable.
Let’s hope that there’s some considerable buzz about Adebayo Akinfenwa coming to play in Australia. He’ll be a cult hero and take the comp by storm, if someone has the foresight. If not, we have our BeIn Sports on Fox Sports next year.