Ex-Cobblers striker Akinfenwa: I kept bumping heads with Boothroyd

MOVING ON - Adebayo Akinfenwa left the Cobblers to sign for Gillingham in the summer
MOVING ON - Adebayo Akinfenwa left the Cobblers to sign for Gillingham in the summer

Former Cobblers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa has described Aidy Boothroyd as ‘a great man’ but admits the two kept ‘bumping heads’ at Sixfields.

Last season’s leading goalscorer was not offered a contract extension at Town and has subsequently re-signed for Gillingham in Sky Bet League One.

That transfer has seen a partnership forged between two of the lower divisions’ biggest characters - Akinfenwa and the unorthodox Gills boss Martin Allen.

“Martin tried to sign me from Northampton in January but the deal didn’t happen,” Akinfenwa wrote in his column for Mail Online. “But he kept tabs on me and at the end of the season we sat down and I totally brought into what he is trying to build here at Gillingham.

“Everyone knows I’m a confident guy and I’d back myself to play in any division, but it is a nice feeling knowing the gaffer believes in me and I just want to repay that faith.

“I didn’t always have that backing at Northampton. My old boss Aidy Boothroyd is a great man and I’ve got no malice or anything toward him. He came in when we were looking like going out of the Football League and in one full season got us to the play-off final, so he is clearly a good manager – and I’ve gone on record saying that before.

“But unfortunately football-wise we kept bumping heads. Like I said, I had an inkling from January that I wasn’t going to be part of his plans for the future.

“Aidy put a block on the move to Gillingham then, but thankfully Martin kept faith in me and it all worked out.”

Akinfenwa’s 17-goal haul last season took his overall tally in Northampton colours to 74, making him their most prolific goalscorer of the Sixfields era.

But the powerful front man insists he would exchange half of those goals - spread over two spells - for a victory in the game that proved to be his last, the play-off final defeat against Bradford City at Wembley.

“Knowing that I was likely to leave Northampton, I wanted to go out on a high,” he said. “But my last game was the 3-0 play-off final defeat to Bradford, which really hurt – going out on a low like that wasn’t nice.

“On a personal note, my two seasons at Northampton were good. I scored a lot of goals and kept fit, so in that sense I’m content.

“But, honestly, I would have given back half my goals if it meant we would have won the play-off final.”