Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre celebrates scoring against Western Sydney Wanderers in their FFA Cup semi-final. Picture: Getty Images
Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre celebrates scoring against Western Sydney Wanderers in their FFA Cup semi-final. Picture: Getty Images

Le Fondre has scoring record in his sights

TELL Adam Le Fondre about Bobo's record 27 A-League goals and he'll remind you he's scored more than that in a season.

Sydney FC's new marksman bagged 30 goals back in 2009-10 for then League 2 side Rotherham United, prompting a flurry of Championship suitors to come knocking.

It's why he isn't daunted at the prospect of replacing his Brazilian predecessor as the Sky Blues' source of goals.

Especially since he's scored in nearly every pre-season appearance since joining his new club two months ago.

"I'm looking forward to trying to break it, I don't see why not," Le Fondre told The Daily Telegraph.

"I've scored more than that in a season before. When I was a lot younger at Rotherham I scored 30 in a season, and then the season after I scored 25.

"This is a good challenge for me. I'm not going to say I'll beat it, but it's something I've got there to try and match.

"If I get anywhere near them goals then we're obviously going to be successful, and that's what I want. I want to win things, that's the main goal."

Le Fondre played another season at Rotherham, but his manager Ronnie Moore rightly predicted he was heading straight for the top flight.

In 2011-12 he helped Reading secure Premier League promotion and, in a hugely impressive 2012-13 campaign, fan favourite 'Alfie' netted 12 goals including eight off the bench and an additional two in the FA Cup.

 

He scored a 90th-minute penalty on Premier League debut to earn a season-opening 1-1 draw with Stoke, but it wasn't until a few days later he received a proper warm welcome to the competition.

"I come on at Chelsea, we played them away at Stamford Bridge, and I remember turning to go in behind and John Terry literally just scissored me," Le Fondre said.

 

"And I just thought 'wow, he's just letting me know I can't do that, he's going to smash me every time I go near him'. So I kept trying to run in behind him.

"To get one of the best defenders in England at the time smash you as soon as you come on, he was laying his marker down on me to say 'welcome to the Prem'."

Five months later, during a prolific five-goal January that earned him the Premier League player of the month award, Terry watched from the bench at Madejski Stadium as Le Fondre's 87th and 90th-minute goals negated Juan Mata and Frank Lampard's strikes for a stunning 2-2 draw.

Le Fondre recalls the season as one where "everything just seemed to fall for me and I did the rest".

Bobo scored an A-League record 27 goals for Sydney FC. Picture: Getty Images
Bobo scored an A-League record 27 goals for Sydney FC. Picture: Getty Images

It wasn't quite the same after that, and the following few years were spent hopping around on loan from Cardiff City to Bolton Wanderers, then Wolves and Wigan and back to Bolton, before he finally signed a permanent deal with the Wanderers.

But the desire for regular starts pulled the 31-year-old to Australia, where he's been pleasantly surprised by the quality of football and will make his A-League debut against Adelaide United tonight.

"On the outside looking in it seems our squad could do all right in the Championship at least, the way we play as well would probably suit the Championship," Le Fondre said.

"The only difference is the intensity of the games - to produce 90-95 minutes on the Saturday, then again on the Tuesday night and again on the Saturday with the same XI is quite hard."

Sydney might have to do that a bit once the Asian Champions League - another drawcard in the move - rolls around, as well as this month's midweek FFA Cup final defence, also against the Reds.

That trophy, he feels, would give Steve Corica's mix of old and new Sky Blues the platform they need for another damaging season.

"It would help us coming in build a bond with those who've already been here," he said.

"Get the taste of success, then we can build on that for the league campaign.

"And who knows, the grand final or the Asian Champions League."

 

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