C’EST BONNE!

Macca is stay­ing put with boss Ed­in­burgh

The Non-League Football Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By Jon Couch

MA­CAULEY BONNE has given Ley­ton Ori­ent the per­fect pro­mo­tion tonic by in­sist­ing: “I’m go­ing nowhere.”

The 23-year-old has at­tracted the in­ter­est of a host of top clubs, in­clud­ing five from the Premier League, af­ter net­ting 18 goals for the Na­tional League lead­ers so far this sea­son.

But in the week where man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh com­mit­ted his fu­ture to the ti­tle-chas­ing O’s by sign­ing a new two-and-a-half year con­tract, Bonne’s agent Mathew Hal­ford – of Oak­mont Black Sports – has scotched ru­mours the Zim­bab­wean striker could be ready to leave Bris­bane Road.

Re­ports sug­gest Le­ices­ter City were lead­ing the chase for £500,000-rated Bonne with top-flight ri­vals New­cas­tle, Crys­tal Palace, Ful­ham and Hud­der­s­field also in the hunt. But although Hal­ford ad­mits there has been wide­spread in­ter­est in the for­mer Colch­ester man, he in­sists Bonne is happy at Ori­ent and fo­cused purely on hit­ting a 30-goal sea­son tar­get to help the club win pro­mo­tion back to the Foot­ball League.

“There has been a lot of spec­u­la­tion and in­ter­est in Ma­cauley; I’ve had a lot of phone calls,” he told The

NLP amid fur­ther sug­ges­tions of links with a num­ber of Cham­pi­onship clubs.

“But, as we’ve said all along, he is very happy at Ley­ton Ori­ent and, out of loy­alty to the club and the fans who have been so good to him, he wants to stay, cer­tainly

un­til the end of the sea­son and then we’ll see where we go from there.

“Ma­cauley ac­cepts that with­out the Ori­ent fans he might not have done so well and his fo­cus is on scor­ing 30-plus goals this sea­son to help the club ful­fil their am­bi­tions.

“Of course, the in­ter­est is flat­ter­ing but we are not keen on mak­ing the quick buck. There’s a big­ger pic­ture to look at and time is cer­tainly on his side.

“Yes, he wants to play at the high­est level, as all play­ers do, but there is a right time to do it and a wrong time and with the club in such a good place on top of the league, now is not ideal.

“Ma­cauley is a very hum­ble lad who is not at all both­ered by what the Press say or by links with var­i­ous clubs. He is a down-to-earth guy from a work­ing-class back­ground who just wants to en­joy his foot­ball, which he is cer­tainly do­ing at Ley­ton Ori­ent right now.”

Hal­ford re­vealed Bonne’s de­ci­sion was not made in the wake of boss Ed­in­burgh sign­ing his con­tract ex­ten­sion, but he says work­ing with the O’s chief is a ma­jor fac­tor in him want­ing to stay.

“He’s one of the lads and we love that about him,” he added. “He’s the same level as ev­ery­one else. That gives the squad a co­he­sion and a cul­tural fit that not just any­one can be­come a part of it. Ma­cauley is very happy work­ing with him.”

Bonne’s de­ci­sion to stay will come as wel­come re­lief to O’s fans fol­low­ing the news that cap­tain Josh Coul­son is set to be side­lined for sev­eral weeks with a ham­string in­jury.

The 29-year-old de­fender has started ev­ery league game for the O’s but picked up the in­jury in last week­end’s 3-0 home de­feat to Sal­ford City.

PIC­TURE: TGSPHOTO

BONNE FIRE! Ma­cauley Bonne is en­joy­ing life at Ley­ton Ori­ent un­der man­ager Justin Ed­in­burgh, below

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