Dan Holman delighted to have made switch from Braintree Town to Colchester United
PUBLISHED: 12:15 09 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:15 09 July 2014
Dan Holman last night described his move to Colchester United, on a two-year deal, as a "dream move."
Ex-Braintree Town attacker Holman, Iron’s leading scorer with 13 goals in the Conference last term, is now looking forward to knuckling down and proving himself on the Football League stage.
The 24-year-old has gradually made his way up the football pyramid, switching from Conference North Histon to Conference Premier Braintree in the summer of 2012.
After two fruitful years at Cressing Road, helping Iron to record top-half-of-the-table finishes, Holman is ready to make a name for himself in League One.
“I’m over the moon. I’m so delighted to get this chance,” enthused Holman last night.
“I want to test myself playing at a higher level, but I know that I’ve got to work hard to earn my opportunity.
“I was training with Southend last week, and I had a few offers from other clubs in Braintree’s league. But then I got a call from Colchester (manager Joe Dunne, inset), asking me whether I would like to come down. I thought to myself – ‘I’ve got to’ – because I knew that Joe had seen me play for Braintree a few times.
“I trained for a couple of days with them, and have obviously done enough to get a contract,” added Holman.
Holman made an unforgettable debut for Braintree in the Conference, scoring twice in a 4-1 win at Woking to kick off a successful two-year stay with Alan Devomnshire’s men.
It did not take him long to find his feet in the fifth tier – he actually scored four goals in his first three appearances for Iron – but obviously it will be a far tougher challenge to break into the U’s first team starting line-up.
He joins a talented strikers’ pool at the Community Stadium, which includes last season’s leading scorer Freddie Sears, target man Jabo Ibehre, and also teenage sensation Macualey Bonne.
“I’ve been gradually moving up through the levels,” continued Holman.
“It was slightly different moving from Histon to Braintree (in August, 2012), because I was actually full-time at Histon and then part-time with Braintree.
“But I made the decision that I wanted to play in a higher league, and to play in front of bigger crowds.It was all part of a desire to one day play in the Football League.
“Scoring goals in the Conference is not easy. We always had a solid defence at Braintree, which was the basis of our success, but the strikers never got loads of chances.
“In the end, I managed to score 19 goals in all competitions last season, which I was very happy about.
“And of course I will always be grateful to Alan Devonshire for giving me the chance to play in the Conference.
“It was a difficult time at Histon, when I left. There was a change of manager, and Alan took a chance on me, which I hopefully repaid.
“Now I have to work hard in training, and wait for my chance. I can’t wait to make my Football League debut. It’s something I thought might never happen – I thought that perhaps my time had gone.
“I’m getting used to full-time training again, after my part-time days with Braintree, although I consider myself to be a fit lad anyway.
“I’m loving rubbing shoulders with the likes of Freddie Sears and Jabo Ibehre. I can really learn off them, and I want to hit the ground running in pre-season, starting with Brantham on Saturday (the U’s first pre-season friendly).
“I live in Northampton, but I’m used to the travelling with Braintree, so that won’t be a problem.
“And looking through the fixtures there are some really big clubs in League One. It’s such an exciting move for me,” added Holman.
Having scored 11 goals in his first season with Iron, he bagged 13 last term despite a spell on the sidelines with an injury last Autumn. He hit a purple patch of 11 goals in 14 games later in the season, usually playing alongside fellow striker Sean Marks.