Macauley Bonne says he is sad to have left Colchester United – but admits it was a decision he had to make for the good of his career.

The 21-year-old striker has joined National League side Leyton Orient on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee, after ending his eight-year spell with the U’s.

Bonne told the Daily Gazette: “Sometimes in your career, you need to take a step back to go forward and I think I’m doing that at the best time for me.

“I’m sad to be leaving Colchester – I was there for a long time and I really enjoyed my time there.

“I hope that I made the right impression both on and off the pitch and who knows what might happen in the future?

“I’m only 21 and could end up playing against Colchester or even for them one day.

“But it’s been a pleasure to play in front of the fans and their support is second to none.”

Bonne, who scored his first professional goal on his 18th birthday when he netted for Colchester against Peterborough in October 2013, struggled for starts under boss John McGreal last season.

The Ipswich-born forward spent time on loan in the National League with both Lincoln City and Woking.

In total, Bonne made 82 appearances for the U’s, scoring 16 goals.

“I’d have liked to have played more games but that’s football and the decision I had to take had to be the right one,” he added.

“It’s been difficult being on the bench but I’ve always held my head up high.

“I enjoyed my time at Colchester and it’s sad that it didn’t work out for me there.”

Bonne is set to make his first Leyton Orient appearance today when they take on Bostik League side Harlow Town, in a pre-season friendly.