Nlundulu | Those Goals Were For Cully

Nlundulu shirt tribute

Dan Nlundulu dedicated his first two goals of the season to Ben Cull following the recent tragic death of his former team-mate, writes Pete Oliver.

The pair played together in the Academy system at Southampton before Cull’s career was cruelly cut short by a rare form of bone cancer which led to his death earlier this month at the age of 24.

Nlundulu paid tribute to the former England youth international after unveiling a shirt bearing his name following a double strike in Wanderers’ 8-1 EFL Trophy win over Manchester United’s U21s.

“It meant a lot. Today was an emotional one. Those goals were for my friend Cully,” said the Wanderers’ striker.

Nlundulu goal celebration

“I’ve been wearing that shirt underneath for the last two games and that’s what kept me going, to have belief I would get my first goal. It was a good day today.

“I was with him for about 10 or 11 years, playing by the side of him. I guess that’s life, but it’s not easy. That’s the message, that life is very short and you’ve got to enjoy it and you’ve got to fulfil it. Those two goals were for him.”

Nlundulu opened the floodgates with the first goal in each half as Wanderers romped to victory to stay top of Group E and book their place in the knock-out stages of the competition they won last season.

The goals were the striker’s first since signing for Wanderers on a permanent basis in the summer as Nlundulu and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – who also scored his first of the campaign – got themselves in the groove as the 11-goal pairing of Dion Charles and Victor Adeboyejo were given a breather.

"That’s the message, that life is very short and you’ve got to enjoy it and you’ve got to fulfil it."
Dan Nlundulu

“Today was an important win and it was nice to get two goals. You’ve got to carry on now,” added Nlundulu.

“I had one thing on my mind today and that was to score. I’m happy I did it and you’ve got to keep that form going.

“Even though there are injuries we’ve got depth. Dion and Vic are doing their job and doing well. Credit to them and we are just behind and trying to catch them up. It’s healthy competition.”

Wanderers’ victory over United’s youngsters was the club’s biggest for 40 years and secured their passage through to the last-32.

Nlundulu goal celebration

Nlundulu was unable to play a part in last season’s Trophy triumph after being cup-tied with Cheltenham Town before joining the Whites on loan in January.

But the former Southampton man hopes things could be different this season with Wanderers making a successful start to their defence.

“The gaffer always talks about being ruthless and we want to go and win it again this year,” Nlundulu added.

“I didn’t play but I was there. I felt the atmosphere and it was a great day at Wembley. It would be daft not to want to do that again.”

Watch Dan's full interview on Wanderers TV HERE

Read Time: 3 mins