JOSHUA Bohui says Jon De Souza played a big part in his decision to join Colchester United.

The 21-year-old former Manchester United starlet made his U’s debut at Walsall at the weekend, after joining the League Two club on a two-year deal.

Bohui had been playing his football in Holland for NAC Breda, before mutually terminating his contract earlier this week.

The pacy youngster had previously played under De Souza while in the Brentford academy and says the U’s Performance Director was a major factor in him choosing to return to England.

Bohui said: “It was a great experience playing out in Holland.

“Unfortunately, I got injured quite early so I didn’t get much game time.

“I knew Jon De Souza pretty well from my Brentford days and he gave me a platform and said that I’d be able to come back on UK soil and play for Colchester.

“When I heard that, my eyes lit up and it just went forward.

“I worked with Jon at Brentford and he was a brilliant coach.

“He was a bit tough on me at times but he believed in me.

"That’s all you can ask from a coach or for a team around you just to have faith in you and watch you nurture and develop.

“I think knowing Jon from before, it helped me to make my decision to come here.

“Sometimes when you’re away from family and everyone, not playing can get a hold of you, especially for a young footballer that wants to make his dream possible.

“When you’re not playing it’s difficult and I wanted to come back and be with my family again and build another platform again, back on UK soil.”

Bohui appeared as a late substitute in Colchester’s 1-1 draw at Walsall, to make his debut for the club.

The England under-17 international says he is particularly grateful to head coach Steve Ball, for giving him his U’s bow.

“It’s been unbelievable; the boys have treated me fantastic,” said Bohui, who was at Manchester United for three years before leaving in 2019.

“I think Steve (Ball) has shown a lot of faith in me really and getting the opportunity (at Walsall) was amazing.

“I just want to kick on now, get my head down and try and try and help the team as much as possible.

“It was a big achievement to get my first appearance for the club and be a part of this team.

“One of the first things that Steve told me was Colchester is a club that helps young players progress and as a young player, that’s what you want to hear.

“I know that I’m not fully developed in size yet and I know that will come in a couple of years, so for a coach to say that to you puts a lot of faith in you.

“I could see that he’d done his background work and research about me and it was an easy decision, when he said that.

“I trust in him that he’s going to make me the player that I want to be.”

Bohui has a bright future ahead of him – but what can Colchester supporters expect from him in the weeks and months to come?

He added: “I love a one v one, I like to take on my opponent, I can cross in with my left or cut in from the left onto my right and get a shot on, I’m good at combination around the box and I’m quite a quick player, so I’ve got a few yards on me.”