Bond: More non-league gems out there

COLCHESTER United midfielder Andy Bond says there are plenty of more non-league gems to be had for Football League clubs.

The 25-year-old has proved to be one of the League One signings of the summer so far, scoring five goals and becoming an integral part of the U’s midfield following his acquisition from Blue Square Premier club Barrow.

This afternoon he comes up against another prime example of a non-league player made good in the form of Swindon striker Charlie Austin.

The 21-year-old has already scored 25 goals for the club, little over a year after being plucked him off of a building site and from the amateur game.

“You’ll be surprised just how many young, talented players there are in non-league,” said Bond, who was forced to drop out of the professional game when Crewe released him as a youngster.

“Sometimes it’s just a case, as it probably was for me, of being in the right place at the right time.

“I think league clubs are being a lot more careful with their money at the moment and, with that in mind, I see no reason why they shouldn’t start looking to non-league for a few hungry players who are looking to get back into the professional game.

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“The manager (John Ward) hasn’t asked me about any more non-league players just yet, but if he wanted any advice on up-and-coming names I’d be happy to give it to him.”

– Full interview, including Bond’s thoughts on the up-and-coming FA Cup match against non-league side Swindon Supermarine, in today’s EADT.

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