July 12, 2024

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Bonham has reflected on the most challenging experience of his life, which occurred during his professional debut for Watford in 2013. The match against Leeds United saw him come off the bench for 24 minutes, conceding two goals for which he took responsibility, ultimately impacting Watford’s chances of automatic promotion.

Now 30 years old, Bonham describes this particular game as the “hardest thing” he has ever been through. Despite initially avoiding thoughts about the match due to its mental toll, he acknowledges that facing that difficulty was crucial for his personal and professional growth. In an interview with the official Stoke City YouTube channel, he revealed that he wasn’t mentally prepared for the situation at that time, likening it to a “fight or flight” scenario. Although the debut did not go well, Bonham believes it built up his tolerance and resilience, shaping him into the player he is today.

Stoke City player opens up on difficult moment that 'did damage me  mentally' - Stoke-on-Trent Live

Reflecting on his journey, Bonham stated, “Without that experience, I don’t think I would have gotten to where I am now. I think I would have probably chosen the easy route in most things, so that happening and dealing with that – probably the hardest thing I’ve been through, in football and in my life.”

As of now, Bonham has become the third longest-serving player at Stoke, having joined in 2021. With 49 appearances for the club, including 16 clean sheets, he has played a pivotal role, particularly during the current four-game stretch of consecutive shut-outs in the past month. His involvement in the team increased after Mark Travers was recalled by Bournemouth from his loan spell.

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