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Jack Bonham repays Dean Smith’s faith with excellent performance

17 April 2017

Goalkeeper makes leap from bench in 1-1 draw with Barnsley.

Jack Bonham made his first EFL appearance for nearly four years to earn his side a point at Oakwell against Barnsley. The 23-year-old goalkeeper produced a string of excellent saves after Head Coach Dean Smith decided give him a run-out ahead of Daniel Bentley. 

Bonham, who played his last First Team game at Exeter City in August, told Bees PlayerHD when he was told the news on his selection.

“I found out Sunday before we travelled,” said Jack. “The gaffer brought me into the office and said I was playing. Obviously I was nervous, excited, and great to get my full [league] debut. My confidence is high. I wanted to come out, not prove a point, but do it for myself. I haven’t played some games to the best of my abilities, and still don’t think I played as well as I could there.”

Jack described the difference between coming off the bench and playing matches. 

“The pace is so much quicker,” said Jack. “It took me a good 35 minutes to get up to the pace of the game. Obviously, not playing in the First Team week-in, week-out and B Team games are much slower; it took a while to get into the game but I felt really good.”

Roommate and goalkeeping rival Daniel Bentley was instrumental in his pre-match preparation.

“He was really great and helped before the game,” said Jack. “He was talking to me and giving me confidence; that’s what you want really. I’ve done that to him for 42 games this season.”

Jack was pleased that he could repay the trust Dean Smith put in him.

“I think that was the main thing in the game [for me],” said Jack. “The gaffer had faith to start me for me to show what I can do; it would be nice to get some more games for me hopefully before the end of the season, and then we can plan for next season.”

Jack, who now has seven Bees appearances to his credit, also praised Goalkeeper Coach Simon Royce for his support.

“He’s been great with me,” said Jack. “He told me to be patient and said I’ll get a chance at some point. Not many goalkeepers get in their prime until they are 26 or 27 so I’ve still got time on my hands. I can’t praise him enough.”

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