Ex-Bee Phillips: Akinfenwa can deliver for Dons

Sutton Guardian: Backing his man: New Dons defender Mark Phillips is behind Adebayo Akinfenwa Backing his man: New Dons defender Mark Phillips is behind Adebayo Akinfenwa

Defender Mark Phillips has backed fellow Kingsmeadow new boy Adeboya Akinfenwa to be a big hit for the Dons – and not just because of his size.

The 32-year-old striker completed a switch to the League Two outfit last week after rejecting a new deal at League One Gillingham.

Phillips, a League Two title winner with Championship newcomers Brentford alongside new colleague Alan Bennett, followed suit three days later in a busy week for Dons boss Neal Ardley.

Akinfenwa has been a regular scorer during a lengthy Football League career and averaged close to a goal every two games during two spells at Northampton Town.

But Phillips reckons there is more to him than just goals.

“The squad here is looking good for next season and I’m positive about how we will do,” said Phillips this week.

“I’ve played with and against Adebayo Akinfenwa so I know that he’s a handful. But he’s also a very good player with good skill and he will be a great lad for team spirit.”

Ex-Millwall youngster Phillips had spoken to other clubs before switching to the Dons and it was the prospect of working with Ardley that made his mind up.

“Neal was a quality player as everyone knows and for me as a youngster coming through at Millwall he was a brilliant older pro to have around the place,” he added.

“He would encourage and talk to us about different parts of the game, which was a big help because he’d played at a higher level.

“Neal is a forward-thinking manager and I’m looking forward to playing for him because I know he will get the best out of his players.”

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