Kevin Keen has no qualms over Colchester United’s Macauley Bonne joining up with Zimbabwe

Macauley Bonne

Macauley Bonne - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Colchester United manager Kevin Keen revealed he won’t stand in the way of Macauley Bonne, should the youngster decide to go on international duty with Zimbabwe again.

The 20-year-old Ipswich-born striker has been called up for The Warriors’ double-header with Swaziland in the Africa Cup of Nations, the games being scheduled to be played on March 23 and 26.

Should Bonne, who scored for Zimbabwe Under-23s on his debut against a full-strength Morocco team, opt to go on international duty, he will be ruled out of the U’s home clash with fellow strugglers, Doncaster Rovers, on Friday, March 25.

Bonne has scored nine goals this season, albeit four of those came in the FA Cup win against non-league Wealdstone and two in the Football League Trophy against Northampton.

He also scored in the U’s Under-21s impressive 2-1 victory at their Crystal Palace counterparts in midweek, with the Eagles’ team featuring experienced first-teamers such as Marouane Chamakh, Martin Kelly and Julian Speroni.

The striker could come into contention for tomorrow’s home game with Wigan, having come off the bench in each of the last three games, but Keen is prepared to let the youngster continue his international odyssey.

“Playing for the national team is a massive achievement and I never try and stop or influence anyone not to play for their national team,” said Keen.

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“Nathan Oduwa has also been called up, for Nigeria’s under-23s and while both absences could affect the team for that week, I’ll never stop them.

“Home and away against Swaziland is a big experience for a young man to do and I am just happy he has been selected.”

Meanwhile, Keen hopes young defender Leo Chambers will be fit to return for Saturday’s clash at home to Wigan, the impressive West Ham loanee having missed the 2-0 defeat at Port Vale.

“He’s come through today, so as long as he suffers no bad effects, he should be fit,” said Keen.

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