Sunday Story: Adam Le Fondre

by Jeremy Walker

Sky Blues star striker Adam Le Fondre reflects on his stellar global career in our latest ‘Sunday Story’ – sharing his favourite Premier League stadiums, love for Eric Cantona and NBA2K gaming with Patrick Yazbek.

Le Fondre celebrating during his time with Reading FC

As Sydney supporters know, veteran forward Adam Le Fondre is no stranger to finding the back of the net and is famous for his “sausage rolls” – a term uniquely used by “Alfie” to refer to his goals.

The 35-year-old has scored 62 times in just 108 appearances for the Sky Blues and boasts one of the best minutes-per-goal ratios in English Premier League history with 124.4.

And the prolific finisher credits these successes to his father.

Dad is the biggest influence in my career and makes me who I am today

Adam Le Fondre

“He was my manager in junior football, so you can imagine a lot rested on my shoulders!” said Le Fondre.

“If we lost it was probably my fault, he demanded a lot out of me. I’d score three or four and it would still be my fault if we lost.

“Deep down I knew it weren’t my fault but that gave me even more desire for the next week to prove him wrong. My dad instilled a drive and desire to help me become the player and person I’ve become now, he was hard on me but within reason.”


With two Isuzu UTE A-League Championships, one Indian Super League Championship and one English Football League Championship title under his belt, Le Fondre breeds success.

Hungry for more, the English and French citizen remains motivated to improve under Head Coach Steve Corica.

“I’m of the belief that as a footballer you can’t stop improving,” Le Fondre added. “The day you stop improving you’re not the same player anymore.

“You have to continuously evolve no matter if you’re 35 or 19. You have to continuously look at ways to get better at your craft.

“Bimbi [Steve Corica] has been unbelievable in the fact that he’s helped me evolve tactically and understand the physical and tactical battles of the league.

“Each and every day I’ll take small increments from my game and try and get them better, that’s the sort of mindset I’ve been brought up with as a kid. My dad was a stickler for practice and I’ve always took that to every club I’ve been to.”

Showcasing an elite mentality, “ALF” has mixed it with the best at football’s highest level, representing Reading FC in the 2012/13 Premier League season.

The centre-forward netted 12 times that campaign, finishing on the same number of goals as icons Wayne Rooney and Sergio Agüero.

“Going to the Premier League was something I didn’t think about at the time because 12 months ago I was playing in League Two!” Le Fondre said.

“To do reasonably well individually in the Premier League was amazing, I was living my dreams. I’ve watched Match of the Day all my life and to be on there and people talking about me after games where we’d won and I scored was incredible.

“I had Gary Lineker talking about me, Alan Shearer talking about me, them sort of players which are some of the greatest strikers that England have ever produced and they’re talking about a lad from Offerton, Stockport!”

Starting his career at hometown club Stockport County in 2004, Le Fondre went on to play for several teams around the world – including Rochdale, Rotherham, Reading, Cardiff, Bolton, Wolves, Wigan, Mumbai City and Sydney FC.

Le Fondre playing for Rochdale in 2008

Despite his travels, the striker remains loyal to his Greater Manchester roots and still supports Manchester United – idolising one of their French legends as a youngster.

“Eric Cantona was one of my big favourites as a kid growing up,” said Le Fondre, “He had such charisma about him … he had his collar up, chest puffed out and he put himself above everyone on the pitch and then his play backed it up.

“As a kid I was 7 or 8 copying him. I was flicking my collar up, strutting around the pitch as if I’m the best player in the world trying to emulate what he did at Old Trafford on the biggest stage. I was doing it on the Sunday league field trying to do the same.”

To Le Fondre’s delight, he would be coached by one of Cantona’s Man United teammates during a spell at Cardiff City in 2014.

Le Fondre netting against Chelsea in the Premier League

“He was one of my biggest idols growing up, to work with Ole Gunnar [Solskjær] was one of the main influences why I went there,” the striker added.

“I see a lot of his game in me, I sort of modelled myself on how ruthless and efficient he was in front of goal and how hard he worked. So when I knew Cardiff were interested and he rang me up and I spoke to him I was gobsmacked, starstruck, all of the above!

“It was something I couldn’t turn down in the end. It was such a good opportunity to work with someone who was that good of a footballer, let alone one of my heroes.”


Playing amongst the Premier League’s elite, Le Fondre is no stranger to a top-class stadium, saying the Sky Blues’ new ground at Allianz competes with the best in the world.

“You look at Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, Anfield – they’re the great stadiums of the Premier League,” said Le Fondre.

“I also love Craven Cottage, Fulham’s ground. For me that’s a typical English ground, the pitch is always perfect, the weather seems to always be nice there and they always were quite courteous in letting me score against them a lot!

Le Fondre has always been a fan favourite

“And obviously Allianz is a world-class facility, the stadium’s done to the nth degree of upscale class that you can have. The atmosphere created against Melbourne Victory was incredible, the weather was awful and still so many people created that much noise.”

Before returning to Sydney in 2021, Le Fondre enjoyed a spell in the subcontinent at Mumbai City FC, winning the Indian Super League Championship and regular season trophy.

But it was anything but plain sailing.

“It was a very hard experience for me … I was 7 months without my wife and kids so as you can imagine it became very lonely at points in the season,” Le Fondre explained.

“Mumbai City were fantastic though, they made it the best they possibly could, I think they had the best setup out of everyone, the football was unbelievable.

“But for me as a person and as a dad there were points when I was lonely and low … it was incredibly tough and mentally fatiguing really in an aspect, but the bright side of that was the success I had there.”

Delighted to be applying his trade in Sydney once again, Le Fondre relishes time with his Sky Blue teammates – gaming on the PlayStation when he gets the chance.

“I play a bit of FIFA Ultimate Team now and then but I’m losing me head on Ultimate Team, I’m terrible!” said Le Fondre.

“When my WIFI is bad that’s when I start making excuses, I need to invest some money into it but I don’t know if I’ve got the skill level to warrant the investment!

“I am a keen gamer though, even when I was in Mumbai I was streaming a bit of NBA2K on Twitch, I play that with Yazy [Patrick Yazbek] and Stazy one of the analysts.”

A dedicated father, gamer and footballer, Adam Le Fondre is certain to produce once again for the Sky Blues this season.

The clinical finisher looks set to lead the line for Sydney FC this afternoon against Adelaide United at Allianz Stadium as the Sky Blues seek back-to-back wins in the A-League.