Adebayo Akinfenwa determined to play till 40 for family sake

 

Nigeria born Wycombe striker Adebayo Akinfenwa says he is determined to push himself to play until he clocks 40 to ensure he provides for his family.

Akinfenwa is contemplating playing on for another season after being driven by a fear of being unable to provide for his five kids.

The hulking Wycombe striker, known as ‘The Beast’, turns 39 in May and, despite a nagging knee problem, he is enticed by the prospect of playing until he hits 40.

Akinfenwa, set to line up for Gareth Ainsworth’s side in Monday’s FA Cup fourth-round visit of Tottenham, is father to boys Ajani, 11, Jai, 10, five-year-old Jaylan and daughters Kamira, 13, and eight-year-old Kaliyah.

He said: ‘I was on the watt bike this week questioning everything and thinking “this is killing me” but everyone has a purpose in life.

Adebayo Akinfenwa and his kids reason for all the hard work

‘Mine is pushing through the pain barrier because I am inspired by a fear of not being able to care for and feed my children he told Dailymail

‘If I won the lottery, I would maybe be sitting on the beach somewhere! But I have to persevere with what I’m doing.

‘There’s a perception that once you have played professional football for a number of years then you are financially sound – but actually you’re not.

‘A small percentage earn big money and when they hit 35 they don’t have to work again whereas for players in the lower leagues it’s basically contract to contract.

‘I have to strap up my knee for every game and there are times when I wake up the following day after playing and think “I’m going to retire”.

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‘I did want to play until I’m 40, which would mean continuing for one more season, but how I feel at the end of this campaign will determine my decision.’

Akinfenwa has yet to score in 20 appearances for the Chairboys this season – his first at Championship level.

He says he is unlikely to pursue an opening in football management when he retires with his media career already flourishing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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