Macauley Bonne was in dreamland after marking his full league debut for the Addicks with the only goal as Charlton beat Leeds United 1-0 at The Valley on Saturday.
This time last year the striker scored a hat-trick playing in front of 2,574 people as Leyton Orient beat Braintree Town 5-1 in the National League.
It has been a meteoric rise for the 23-year-old, who on Saturday scored in the 32nd minute of his full Championship debut against promotion favourites Leeds in front of 21,808.
Speaking after the game the Zimbabwe international was in a buoyant mood: “I just checked on my Instagram. This time last season I was playing against Braintree Town in the National League and now I’m scoring the winner against Leeds. I couldn’t write the story. For me, from where I’ve come from, I can’t explain how happy I am.
“I try not to think about the opposition. It’s a big game, the crowd are jumping, it’s Leeds United! It’s a big step up and I’m just buzzing to be here.”
Bonne was Lee Bowyer’s first signing of a busy summer transfer window after joining for an undisclosed fee from Orient and it has been a wait for him to get into the team.
“I’m pleased to be playing. I’ve been waiting for my opportunity and I wasn’t going to waste it today. I would have liked to have scored a cleaner goal but a goal is a goal,” he said.
“It’s hard, considering the last two seasons I’ve played every minute of every game but I’ve also got to take into consideration that I’ve made a big jump up and I never expected just to go in and go straight in.
“It’s going to take months and months of training. I’m still not up to speed with the Championship, I admit that myself. I’m training, doing the extras, doing what I can week in, week out in training to make sure that when I am called upon, like today, I can produce. It was off the back of the shoulder but that’s what I’ve been brought into the team to do, to score goals.”
His goal on Saturday was initially credited to teammate Tom Lockyer but Bonne was definitely claiming it.
He explained: “The keeper’s punched it into my back, I thought ‘I’m always claiming it’. He [Lockyer] ran away and I was shouting to him ‘I’m sure it’s my goal Locks’ and he was like ‘no, no no’. When they changed it, he looked over to me and his face was a picture.
“I’m a goalscorer and if I get a chance I’m hopefully going to put it away. Today wasn’t the cleanest of goals but it is still my name up on the scoreboard and that’s all I can ask.”
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