Imps linked with exciting Irish prospect

Credit @lee_bonis Twitter

Before anyone starts, I am aware this news broke earlier and I’m not exactly bringing it to you first, but there is a reason I write these up.

In the future, I will search ‘transfer rumours’ on the site and see which have come true and which have not. That allows me to ascertain which sources are the most reliable and it is something I do most seasons. This one comes from The S*n and whilst I tend to despise that paper, I know some of its journalists are good – one who is a City fan and covers the games is a top lad, so I’m not tarnishing the employees with the employers brush.

Last season, Alan Nixon linked us with three players, only one of which came true, so make of that what you will. Anyhow, the same source has today linked us with 21-year-old Lee Bonis of Irish side Portadown. Bonis has bagged 13 goals in 31 starts for his current side and is already capped at Under 21 level by Northern Ireland. Recently, he has been on trial with Burnley but they recently ended their interest, leaving us to pursue the forward.

Bonis has also been working as a roofer in Coleraine whilst turning out for Portadown, and as recently as last week was on target for the Wee Reds, who are managed by former Macclesfield striker Matthew Tipton. On their official website, Bonis is described as “an exciting young striker,” who “has a knack for finding the net but has tireless work rate off the ball and loves to close down opposition defenders and win the ball high up the pitch”. Dare we say, the boy is a bit like a young Tom Hopper?

A youngster in the Hopper mould would be superb – Credit Graham Burrell

The Irish league is very different to League One (or the Championship), but look at the likes of James McClean (Derry City) and Jeff Hughes (Coleraine), Liam Boyce (Cliftonville) and Josh Magennis (Glentoran) who have been over here after starting out in Ireland and had cracking careers. Talent is talent, wherever you happen to develop it. One thing is for sure – Bonis has talent and he was recently the first nominee for The Audi Belfast Ulster Footballer Young Player of the Year award for 2020/21. I’ve watched a few of his clips of Wyscout and he does look decent with his head and feet, with a potent threat from set-pieces. We’ve already been linked with players this summer (if cloud and rain can really be summer), and this won’t be the last time either.

Lincoln City are newsworthy and it is no surprise we’re being linked with players, but in six months time will I be writing about Bonis in the same way I got to write about Theo Archibald, or will he be another Kevin O’Hara, a player I’ve researched for little more than a few paragraphs and a lifelong interest in what might have been? Who knows?