Brentford keeper Jack Bonham joined the club this week on a six-month loan deal following positive talks with both manager Keith Curle and keeper coach Simon Tracey which very quickly turned into confirmation that a deal could be done.
And he admitted that distance and travel time from his parent club hadn’t even figured as a consideration once he’d listened to the plans the United boss had for the team this season.
“This is an exciting move for me,” he said. “It’s obviously my first loan with a league club and it’s good that it’s a club that did so well last year. They just missed out on the play-off final and a day out at Wembley, so it really is exciting stuff.
“One of the things I liked about the idea of coming up here is the way the team plays. Simon Tracey gave me a ring a few weeks ago and he spoke to me about how the club wants to do things, and that sold it for me.
“I’ve spoken to Simon and Keith at length and they’ve both told me just to put myself out there, be loud and be a presence. They want me to influence games and to show everyone what I’m about. The discussions I had about this move at Brentford were all about how much of a good experience it’s going to be for me. Hopefully part of that will be us getting promotion.
“I haven’t had much game time over the last few years so I want to come here and play as many games as possible. I’m determined to get as much as I can out of this. I’ve got to thank Keith and Simon for bringing me to the club and having faith in giving me a chance to play. Hearing that they’re looking forward to working with me gives me great confidence going into the season.
“I have to say the distance didn’t come into it at all because it just so happened that it felt like the right move for me. Geographically it’s probably the furthest away I could have got from Brentford in English football but I’m excited to be here and that has to be the main thing.”
The length of the deal – which takes him into the January transfer window – was also something which appealed to the big stopper.
“I think you just have to concentrate game-by-game because you know the deal is initially for six months,” he told us. “You’ve got to work as hard as you can up to that point and see where things take you after that. I think the plan is for me to stay for the full year and hopefully that’s how it will work out.
I don’t think I’m coming here in a situation where I have to prove myself but it is the case that I feel I’m at the age where I need to be playing regularly ...
“I don’t think I’m coming here in a situation where I have to prove myself but it is the case that I feel I’m at the age where I need to be playing regularly. I’ve missed out on the chance to go out on loan a few times over the last few years so this has come at a good time, particularly with me also knowing that I have the new deal at Brentford. I just want the chance to show people what I can do.”
As to what we can expect to see from him, he said: “I’d like to say that my stand-out attribute is my distribution. I’m also a good shot-stopper and I can be dominant in the area.
“I’ve spoken to Simon and he knows I want to work on my communication because that’s massive as far as I’m concerned. If you can help the people in front of you it actually gives you less to do in the long run.”
With the dressing room noted within the game as being a very close-knit group he confirmed that is most definitely the case as he goes through the process of getting to know his new team mates.
“It definitely is,” he said. “It’s always hard to come in to somewhere where everyone else knows each other and it’s quite tight knit. The lads have been great with me and I’ve been welcomed unbelievably well. I can’t thank them enough for that.
“Mind you, if I had to describe pre-season so far I’d have to say it’s incredibly tough. I wouldn’t say I’m used to the running side of it but I’ll get through what I have to get through and make sure I’m ready to go.
“The friendly games start next week and that’s when you’ve really got to make sure you’re hitting the ground running. I’m looking forward to all of it. The focus will then be on the first game against Swindon and it’s nice to start off with a home game.
“I’m excited to see what the fans are like and how the atmosphere is here. I’ve already told the manager that my target is to get ten clean sheets from the next six months. If you get 20 in a season at any club then it means you’re pushing for first and second place, so fingers crossed that’s how it will be.”