Amadou Bakayoko on Sierra Leone goal, awards & Bolton Wanderers season climax aim


Amadou Bakayoko says it was a ‘good experience’ for his first international call-up and goal for Sierra Leone and is now targeting a positive outcome to the end of the season with Bolton Wanderers.

The Wanderers attacker was recently called up for his Sierra Leone squad for their friendlies against Togo, Liberia and Congo, with the 26-year-old netting his first goal for his country against Liberia.

He has now returned to Wanderers for the season climax with five matches left of their campaign.

READ MORE:Kieran Sadlier on Bolton Wanderers style over Rotherham’s, lofty next season aim & Sheffield Wednesday

They are seeking to finish as high up the League One table as possible since the midweek draw versus Portsmouth realistically put an end to their play-offs aspirations.

Bakayoko has now reflected on his international bow with Sierra Leone and is targeting being involved in John Keister’s squad over the summer.

But before then, he is seeking a positive end to the campaign which continues with the visit of Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow afternoon and adding to his tally of 11 goals, his best season in terms of strikes in his career so far.

He said: “It was a good experience being out there, meeting some of the boys but I think the importance of the internationals really got to me once I arrived.

“Every single game really matters, no matter if it’s friendlies, but it’s a great feeling playing for your country and I’m mor than happy to be there.

“I think that was an amazing feeling (to score) and I was asking around who the top goalscorers were for Sierra Leone! It’s something that I want to go and achieve and god willing I can go and do that.

“I’ll hopefully be involved in the qualifying games coming up in June but I need to just keep myself fit throughout, end the season really well and go into that as strong as possible.

“I think we’ve (Bolton) shown a lot throughout the season what we’re capable of. There’s still a lot to learn and a lot to go by but as you could see, the way we play and the situations we’ve come up against in certain games, sometimes we’ve dealt with it well but you can see that there’s still little bits to go. I think we’ll come good for sure.

“It’s my best season for individual goals but I’ve had a lot of good seasons and gradually just building myself into where I want to be, but I’ve got a long way to go and long may this continue.

“It’s something that I’ve looked at but getting the wins in the last five games is important and just making sure that we finish as strong as possible is definitely key.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it (Sheffield Wednesday). Two good teams and we need to put up a good fight and make sure we start the run for the last five games with a win.”

Bakayoko has recently been given awards after being crowned the club’s 2021/22 PFA Community Champion and was also voted as the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for February, and Bolton’s Player of the Month for March.

On the February award, he said: “I’m delighted, we had a good month as a team so I’m happy to go and receive an award for it.

“I think that’s the most pleasing thing, when the fans vote for you it’s a massive thing and it shows you’re being noticed in the right way, but that month was unbelievable for everyone in the team and the club and that’s what we’re looking to do further.”

Amadou Bakayoko of Bolton Wanderers receives an award from George Berry of the PFA.

And regarding the March accolade, he added: “I’m definitely happy about it but it’s a kickstart and something I’ll take into my stride and I want to be doing a lot more good things for the team and for myself personally with individual goals as well, but I’m definitely delighted.”

Richard Slater, disability and health manager for Bolton Wanderers in the Community, said: “Baka has been a fantastic player ambassador within the community this year and was an obvious choice for our 2021/22 PFA Community Champion Award.

“He has particularly supported our men’s mental health project ‘Team Talk’ and our weight management project ‘Fit Fans’. At his numerous appearances throughout the year he has been a constant professional, acting as a role model for many of our beneficiaries and really going the extra mile to support individuals and the work of Bolton Wanderers in the Community.”

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