‘Just like my first day at school’ – Colchester United new boy Dan Holman

U's new boy Dan Holman in action against Brantham on Saturday

U's new boy Dan Holman in action against Brantham on Saturday - Credit: Su Anderson

Colchester United’s newest recruit, Dan Holman, who scored his first goal for the club at Brantham on Saturday, has compared his first day with the U’s to his first day at school!

Ex-Braintree Town goal-poacher Holman signed for the U’s on a two-year deal at the start of last week, and celebrated by scoring the third goal in the U’s 4-1 win at Brantham in the first pre-season fixture of the season.

After Dominic Vose and Jabo Ibehre had both scored in the first half, Holman netted within three minutes of his introduction as a half-time substitute. Freddie Sears added the fourth from the penalty spot, following a foul on Holman.

Twenty-four-year-old Holman has gradually stepped up the levels in non-league, from Long Buckby AFC (United Counties League) to Histon, and then Histon to Braintree, but now his career is ready to take off on the Football League stage.

“It was like my first day at school,” admitted Holman, with reference to his first day as a fully-fledged Colchester player.

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“You just sit there. But hopefully, as time goes by, you start to settle in.

“You begin to feel more at home but, yes, that first day is always a bit daunting.

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“This is my first time at a Football League club, so of course it’s all exciting for me.

“Every time I have had a chance to step up, I have always done it in my caeer.

“I had the chance from my first initial team (Long Buckby AFC, in Northamptonshire) to go to Histon. I took that risk, even though there was a lot of travelling for me.

“Then again to Braintree, going from full-time to part-time. And now obviously Colchester, so it’s all paid off,” added Northampton-based Holman.

Manager Joe Dunne had watched Holman in action, for both Histon and Braintree, in recent seasons, and so had little hesitation in snapping him up.

Holman top scored for Iron with 13 goals in the Conference last term, including a purple patch of 11 goals in 14 games later in the season, having netted 11 goals in his previous campaign.

But with time ticking by, the striker was beginning to think that his chances of breaking into the Football League were diminishing.

“You always think that with the more years that go by, will I get my chance?” admitted Holman.

“But it only takes a phone call, as I have just found out. One phone call and you are here.”

Holman will be in action again tomorrow evening, as the U’s play their second pre-season friendly away at Heybridge Swifts. Manager Joe Dunne is again set to field a different starting XI for each half.

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