Sports: How John Akinde’s game has developed since joining Lincoln City

Sports: How John Akinde’s game has developed since joining Lincoln City

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It was a huge decision for John Akinde to leave his native London to join Lincoln City last summer.

With roots in the capital, it was a wrench for him and his family to move north, even if, from a football point of view, it was a “no-brainer”.

But it is a decision which has been vindicated as the Imps romped to the League Two title, with Akinde ending the season as the club’s leading scorer.

“In the first interview I gave, I said that [promotion] was the aim,” he recalled.

“That’s why I came here, along with the gaffer and Nick’s determination and desire. We’ve done what we set out to do.

“Like I said to my wife when we were moving, for me it was a no-brainer.

“I could only see the club going one way – and that’s up. It was worth the move.”

On living in the county, he added: “Lincolnshire’s lovely and the fans are always really nice when I meet them.”

A tally of 17 goals, while very respectable, would not be regarded as prolific.

But Akinde has brought far more to the side than his goals and an iron nerve from the penalty spot.

John Akinde during the club's recent open-top bus tour
John Akinde during the club’s recent open-top bus tour
(Image: CameraSport – Chris Vaughan)

Crucially, he has produced an impressive number of assists, having been involved in more goals than any other player.

Upon his arrival at Sincil Bank, Akinde was asked to play a different role, utilising his all-round game rather than just his finishing prowess.

“It’s been a team effort. I’ve scored more goals in other seasons, but achieved nothing,” he said.

“I’ve played a different role to what I’m used to. When I came here, they [the Cowleys] knew my strengths, but every player has weaknesses as well.

Danny Cowley and John Akinde
Danny Cowley and John Akinde
(Image: CameraSport – Andrew Vaughan)

“They said ‘we want to develop that and take you to another level’.

“It’s the hold-up play. I’d been used to playing off a Rheady-type player, especially during my time at Barnet.

“It’s being that target man and trying to be reliable when the ball comes up to me and keeping the ball up the pitch. They stressed that’s what they wanted from me when I signed.

“They’ve relentlessly helped all the players improve individually and it’s paid off. I’m just happy that we’ve succeeded.”

   



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