Marvellous Macauley Bonne sees patience rewarded at long last for Colchester United
- Credit: Su Anderson
Macauley Bonne was Colchester United’s forgotten man this season … at least until last weekend.
Bonne shot to fame during the autumn of 2013, when scoring three goals in his first six senior appearances, against Peterborough, Sheffield United (FA Cup) and MK Dons.
But despite this bright beginning, to his professional career, the 19-year-old front-runner has found his chances very limited over the last 14 months.
In fact, he did not make his first start of the season until last weekend, when all his patience was rewarded.
The Ipswich-born striker marked his long-awaited return to prominence with the U’s second goal, a flying header after 14 minutes, in a superb 3-2 win over league leaders Bristol City.
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“I’ve just been patient, playing under-21 games, being in and around the first team coming on for a few odd minutes,” explained Bonne.
“It’s not been frustrating as such, but it’s been a bit like ‘go on, just give me a go, I want to show you what I can do,’ and I feel that I’ve hopefully shown what I am capable of!
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“Against a very strong Bristol City team, I’ve had a think and thought – ‘this isn’t boys’ football anymore, this is men’s football’ – they’re a top team and I’ve got to be a man.
“Now I feel over the moon to get another goal and another start.”
Despite his lack of opportunities – last Saturday was actually only the third league start of his career – Bonne has every respect for current boss Tony Humes.
“I’ve known Tony for years now,” continued Bonne.
“He’s the one that brought me over to the club, and gave me my contract, so he’s always known what I’m about as a player.
“It’s all about patience and I think this was the right day to throw me in.
“I’ve known Tony a long while and I feel comfortable around the building, I can go and talk to him when I need to.
“I thought I played well (on Saturday), and I felt stronger and fitter after playing 90 minutes on Thursday against QPR (for the under-21s).
“When I came here (on Saturday) I didn’t think I’d be starting. When the gaffer told me, I thought I’d just try and get through as much of the game as I can, but the next thing you know the 90 minutes has gone and I’m fine.
“I don’t have a clue where I got the energy from. In training (on Friday) I came in expecting to do a recovery and he (Humes) said ‘you’re training with us’ which was a bit of a shock.
“I tried to put myself about, and use my size more than I have in the last year or so.
“I’ve got a point to prove at the minute, so I thought I’d show it now in front of the home crowd!
“Now my aim is to keep getting more games, more starts and more goals.
“I want to carry on playing for the rest of the season and to score as many goals as possible as a centre-forward,” added Bonne.
Bonne, whose career record to date includes four goals in 21 senior appearances, but only four starts, will be hoping to retain his starting place for this Saturday’s trip to play-off chasing Doncaster Rovers.