Loanee Ryan Gondoh is out to show what he can do at Halifax after finding opportunities few and far between at parent club Colchester.
Winger Gondoh, who made his debut in a late cameo in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Dover, is hoping taking a step back into non-league will mean he eventually takes two steps forward and fulfill his ambitions in the game.
Sutton-born Gondoh had two seasons on the books of Barnet, between 2014 and 2016, before dropping into non-league.
He then played for the likes of Metropolitan Police, Kingstonian and Carshalton Athletic in the Bostik (Isthmian) League, before signing for Maldon & Tiptree.
He starred for the Jammers, scoring 12 goals in 29 appearances for the Bostik North outfit before getting his big chance with Colchester in January 2018.
“I went on trial at Colchester in the summer, and they wanted to see more of me, so they sent me to Maldon, who are owned by them,” he said.
“I showed them what I could do and within six months I was at Colchester.”
Gondoh said he always believed he would make it to the Football League.
“Of course, you’ve got to believe in your ability to play at a high level,” he said.
“You have to keep mentally strong that in the back of your head, you know you’re going to reach heights.
“You’ve just got to keep pushing, never give up. Even if you feel like ‘you’re non-league and it’s not really working out’, you’ve just got to keep going.
“It’s very hard in non-league to get out of it.
“If you’re fortunate to be given a professional contract, grab it with both hands.
“It’s hard when you’re out (of the Football League), looking in. But when you’re inside, a lot of people get comfortable.
“It does get harder when you’re in non-league, if you feel like nothing’s happening and you’re not moving in your career.
“But you never know if someone’s watching you or if there’s something round the corner. you’ve got to keep going.”
Gondoh describes himself as “direct, fast, agile, skillful and tricky”.
“I like to get people on their feet by taking people on, running at them.
“I don’t fear anything or anybody. I just want to get past people, make things happen and put a show on.”
But he has only made six appearances for Colchester this season, five as a substitute.
“I’d say it’s a step on my journey, it’s an opportunity to show everyone in a good league what I can do,” the 21-year-old said on his move to Colchester.
“Obviously I’ve not been able to get a lot of games under my belt this season, but that’s why I’m at Halifax, to show what I can do.”
“Some managers give opportunities, some don’t,” said Gondoh on his lack of game-time with the League Two outfit.
“Some don’t really have trust in young players, some do.
“I’m just unfortunate not to play because I think I’ve got ability.
“Maybe I’m just not trusted yet because I haven’t performed at a high level.
“But I’m here to show that you can trust me in men’s football.”
Does he see the move to Halifax as an audition to Colchester manager John McGreal?
“Yeah, and to a lot more in my career. If I come here and do well, it’ll put my name on the radar.
“Maybe I might nick a move from Colchester, you never know.
“This is a chance for me to show people what I’m capable of.”
Gondoh says Colchester have an option to extend his contract in the summer
“I don’t really think about contracts,” he added. “I just think of playing to the best of my ability and showing what I can do, and it will all fall into place.
“Any level I play at - I want to reach the Championship - I’m not scared, I don’t fear anything.
“I just go out and play. Everyone’s a human being, and it’s just a football match.”