herald

Friday 22 September 2017

Akinade: amazing feeling to be back

Bohs striker aims to make up for lost time

Ismahil Akinade poses for a selfie with a young supporter last year; The Bohs player has managed to overcome a possibly career-ending condition. SPORTSFILE
Ismahil Akinade poses for a selfie with a young supporter last year; The Bohs player has managed to overcome a possibly career-ending condition. SPORTSFILE

A minute on the field as a late sub meant the world to Bohemians forward Ismahil Akinade as he has batled back from what could have been a career-ending condition.

The striker got a standing ovation from the home supporters when he came on in added time in Friday's 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers, Akinade's first appearance of the season.

He had his spleen removed in February, a consequence of having low blood platelets, a serious operation which almost ended his career.

"Even to play for a minute on Friday was great, it was an amazing feeling to be back on the field again," Akinade told The Herald.

Spleen

"Basically, my spleen was too big and was eating up all the platelets so surgery had to be done, the platelets would only go back to normal levels once the spleen was removed.

"At the time I had the surgery, one of the doctors told me 'just give up football, you'll never be strong enough to play again'.

"But I wasn't going to let that happen to me, I knew there had to be a way for me to get back playing again.

"Coming back was a big step for me and you need to know that your body is right. The first thing was to let the scar heal, I was able to step up my training over the last few weeks and I felt okay to go on the bench on Friday and then come on as a sub.

"We have a bit of a break before the next league game, at home to Dundalk, so hopefully I can do more work in training."

There are after-effects of the operation and Akinade says he will be on a daily dose of antibiotics for the rest of his life, but for now he's simply pleased to have his career back.

"I'm only 23 this year, I hopefully have another 10 years left at a good level and hopefully I can make up for lost time," he says," he said. And Akinade claims his team are now looking up, not down the league table as Bohs have used a four-game unbeaten run to move into the top six.

"Finishing in the European places could even be possible if we can go on a run but we can't look too far ahead, we will pick up some more results, stay away from the relegation zone and see where it takes us," he added.

Meanwhile, struggling Drogheda United have confirmed that club captain Killian Brennan has left the club. Brennan (33) joined his hometown club at the start of this season, joining his brothers Gavin and Sean in the first team squad, but he will play no further part this season, and his former clubs Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic could make a move for the veteran.

Brennan stated on social media that he and team-mate Marc Griffin "asked to leave as it was not a nice experience working with a certain individual".

United lost 4-1 to Shamrock Rovers on Friday night, Sean Brennan's goal ending a run of seven games without scoring. "I am sorry to see them go but they have decided they want to move on and I respect their decision," Drogheda boss Pete Mahon told LMFM.

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