ROOKIE manager Mark Bonner couldn’t hide his delight after being appointed permanent Cambridge United boss – and now wants to repay the club’s faith in him.
The 34-year-old had been in temporary charge since the U’s parted company with Colin Calderwood at the end of January following a poor run of results which left the club 18th in the League Two standings.
Assistant Bonner stepped up and enjoyed a dream start to his second temporary spell in charge with four straight wins, though they were winless in three before the EFL went into a temporary shutdown due to the ongoing global health crisis. As the shutdown looks set to end in June and some sports retur, you can use these Royal Ascot sign up offers to tide you over with horse racing before the return of football.
It proved enough, however, for the U’s to decide Bonner was the right choice to take the hotseat permanently and he has been rewarded with a contract until the end of the 2021-22 season.
“It’s a really proud day for me and I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to deliver the club’s vision and the owner’s vision,” said Bonner, who has worked his way up from the club’s academy.
“It’s an awesome responsibility to deliver on the goals the owner has set out and I strongly believe in – to build a team we can all be proud of, that shows an attacking intent, to develop and continue to improve our younger players.
“It’s always been there that in the future it’s something I wanted to undertake and it’s a massive challenge. I will work as hard as anybody and give everything I can to give us the best chance to be successful.”
Cambridge were 16th in League Two before the shutdown, with little prospect of going up or down. It means Bonner can use his time to prepare the club for next season – and there is positive news on that score.
U’s owner Paul Barry said: “Over recent weeks Mark has really stepped up as a leader of our football club and impressed everybody in the way he has conducted himself, motivated everyone and galvanised the club.
“He is Cambridge United through and through and has genuinely earned this opportunity.
“We need to be doing better on the pitch and be competing further up the table as we are all ambitious for success and to play at a higher level. “We want to do it playing more attacking football and entertaining the fans. I made it clear to Mark that I will be making available a larger playing budget to help us do this.”