“Macauley has got to be patient” – so says Colchester United boss Tony Humes
- Credit: Archant
It’s up to Macauley Bonne to force his way into the Colchester United team – so insists manager Tony Humes, going into the second half of this season.
However, the U’s boss still believes that 19-year-old front-runner has a bright future ahead of him at the League One club.
Academy product Bonne burst onto the first team scene with three goals in his first six appearances last term, and looked destined to have a big part to play in this current campaign.
However, despite last year’s stunning introduction to senior football, Bonne has been restricted to just two appearances this campaign, both of them as a second-half substitute.
“Macauley is still a young man, who has only just turned 19,” explained Humes, in the build up to tomorrow’s home game against Walsall.
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“So yes, he played first team football last season, but it’s hard for Macauley when you’ve got Freddie Sears performing as he has been.
“Macauley has got to be patient, and he’s got to wait his turn.
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“But we think a lot of Macauley, and he’s got a good future with this football club, so it’s up to him to force his way in.
“He’s still learning. Tom Lapslie and Dion Sembie-Ferris (both made their first team debuts at Cardiff City in the FA Cup), have had a small opportunity and they are all still developing and still learning the game.
“The question is – how many of those young players can we put in the team at the same time?”
Ipswich-born Bonne, who was on the books of his home town club from under-eight to under-14 level, made his first team debut as a late substitute in the 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury on October 22, 2013.
Just four days later, he crowned his home debut with the winner in a 1-0 victory over Peterborough, just eight minutes after coming on as a substitute for veteran striker Clinton Morrison. His clinical 70th minute header was a great way to celebrate his 18th birthday.
Other high points soon followed. He scored on his full debut, a 3-2 home defeat to Sheffield United in the FA Cup on November 9, before bagging his third goal in six outings to seal a superb 3-1 win over MK Dons later that month.
But Bonne’s career, although it has not exactly stalled, has not really made the progress that was envisaged over the last 12 months.
“Macauley has been in and around the squad this season,” continued Humes.
“He’s been on the bench several times, but then it comes down to the decision of whether it’s right to put him on in a game, or does the game need it?
“He hasn’t had a lot of opportunity, but every time he has been involved with the first team, whether it’s in the squad or on the bench, it’s a learning experience for him.
“So Macauley is very much in our thoughts.”
Bonne has only been on the pitch for a total of 61 minutes this season, as a 66th minute substitute in a 2-1 home defeat by Port Vale on November 1, and as a 53rd minute replacement for Sanchez Watt in the 4-1 loss to Rochdale last month.