Kwesi Appiah pays tribute to Cambridge United fans as he prepares to begin second spell on loan from Crystal Palace
Ghanaian striker Kwesi Appiah paid tribute to the Cambridge United supporters upon his return to the club this week.
The 23-year-old striker is excited to resume his strong relationship with the fans at the Abbey after parent club Crystal Palace agreed a six-month loan deal with the U’s.
Last season he scored 10 goals in a three-month loan spell and quickly became a fans’ favourite.
That rapport was one of the main reasons he opted to rejoin United rather than join one of the other clubs interested in securing his services.
“I’m delighted to be back,” he said.
“A few clubs were interested in taking me on loan and Crystal Palace let me make the call. When I heard one of them was Cambridge it was an easy decision to make.
“I got on really well with everyone at the club last time. The fans were amazing and I’m sure they’ll be like it again now I’ve returned.
“The team’s in a higher division so hopefully we can get even more backing from fans to push us on.”
Appiah’s relationship with U’s boss Richard Money was another factor in his decision.
“My previous spell here helped massively,” he continued.
“Knowing what the manager wants to do helps. He understands my playing style and we have a good rapport. We understand what the other requires.”
Appiah said he had never doubted that United would return to the Football League and believes the momentum gained by winning promotion could help this season.
“Getting promoted breeds confidence and gives you that extra hunger and desire to prove yourself at the next level.“
And with strong competition for places with Robbie Simpson, Adam Cunnington, Tom Elliott and Delano Sam-Yorke, Appiah believes that can only improve the quality on the pitch.
“It’s nice to have healthy competition in the squad. We’ve got some brilliant new signings and it helps when you’re getting pressure from other players.
“It pushes you on because no one wants to be out of the team.”
U’s boss Money said: “I think everyone at the club is delighted and I think it’s testimony to the way that he was treated last year by everyone in the group, by the staff and equally as importantly by the supporters.
“We spoke to him quite a bit over the summer and we were always comfortable this is where he wanted to come because he felt loved and he knows he played his best football here and wanted to do that again.
Appiah went to support United in the FA Trophy final and the play-off semi-final, second leg at home to Halifax and Money believes that clearly demonstrated how much he had valued his time at the Abbey.
“I think that showed everybody he really enjoyed it here last year and equally we wanted to make him feel he’d played an important part in what we’d done.
“In fact, the only reason he wasn’t there for the play-off final is because he’d already gone on holiday.
“But we were anxious to make sure that he came into the dressing room at Wembley (for the FA Trophy final) and take him on to the pitch and show him and Chris (Maxwell) off to the supporters (before the play-off semi).
“There’s no doubt that all those things have helped him make the decision to come here instead of going elsewhere.
“We’ve let others do the talking and just kept under the radar and got on with doing the business and I can tell supporters that we’ve never had any doubts about him wanting to come back here.”