Cherries: There is no doubting Thomas

YOUNG STAR: Dan Thomas

YOUNG STAR: Dan Thomas

First published in Sport Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

DAN Thomas probably feels like he has just gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson.

Cherries’ unassuming teenage goalkeeper will have experienced all the emotions in the book during a hectic three weeks.

A surprise debut in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Northampton was sandwiched between eventful youth and reserve team outings as Thomas represented Cherries at three different levels.

And it is not as if the youngster is used to the rigours of the professional ranks, having only been invited to join the club as a late starter around 20 months ago.

Thomas, who only turned 18 in September, was catapulted into the first-team squad following the departure of back-up goalkeeper Ryan Pryce at the end of August.

And as Cherries’ head of youth Joe Roach would say, it has certainly been one steep learning curve for the former Portchester School pupil.

“It has been a multitude of variants for Dan,” said Roach. “Coupled with playing a lot of games, he has also been attending Brockenhurst College.

“He’s a good lad and he listens. A lot has happened to him in a very short space of time and he hasn’t had the longest grounding.

“But he is thoughtful about the situation and knows where he is in the grand scheme of things. He isn’t cocky or arrogant. He was back in college at nine o’clock in the morning the day after he had made his debut for the first team. He isn’t one to take liberties.”

Thomas hardly had the ideal preparation before taking his bow at Northampton. Just days previously, he had conceded nine times as the reserves were slaughtered by a powerful Plymouth second string.

Roach added: “After that game, Eddie (Howe), Neil (Moss) and myself had a chat about Dan coming back into the youth environment for a couple of days.

“He played against Swindon and Hereford, which was almost a relief for him at the time because it gave him an opportunity to relax a bit.

“He was then elevated back to the first team for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and he looked very settled in the game.

“I was delighted with his attitude and response because it was a difficult day and the weather wasn’t the kindest for a goalkeeper.

“What he was asked to do, he did well. His kicking was good, he came for some crosses and made a couple of great saves in the second half.

“At college the following morning, I showed him the Echo and his eyes lit up when he saw he had been given a mark of 8.5 out of 10. I was so pleased for him.”

Thomas, who played his youth football for Redhill Rangers, has flourished under the tutelage of Cherries goalkeeper coaches past and present, Vince Bartram and Neil Moss.

His whirlwind education continued at the weekend when, having helped Cherries to a 2-1 win at Yeovil in the Youth Alliance, he raced back to sit on the bench for the first team against Chesterfield.

And despite shipping seven in another reserve team mismatch against Bristol City in midweek, Thomas’s exploits between the sticks prevented the Robins from reaching double figures.

Click the link above to view our Cherries preview video with Warren Cummings.

• See tomorrow's Daily Echo for an interview with former Bashley and Cherries star Wade Elliott and a feature on how the village club has stormed to the summit of the Southern League.

Comments (11)

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8:06am Fri 16 Oct 09

kenneth ormerod says...

He`s a boy in a mans world and hopefully will improve as times move on. The last line of defence will always be difficult but i certainly wouldn`t get excited about the echo marks. Good luck Dan onwards and upwards.
He`s a boy in a mans world and hopefully will improve as times move on. The last line of defence will always be difficult but i certainly wouldn`t get excited about the echo marks. Good luck Dan onwards and upwards. kenneth ormerod
  • Score: -1

9:27am Fri 16 Oct 09

New Stander says...

Well done Dan. Keep focused and listen to Eddie and Neil and you will be fine. You have done brilliantly so far.
Well done Dan. Keep focused and listen to Eddie and Neil and you will be fine. You have done brilliantly so far. New Stander
  • Score: 1

10:49am Fri 16 Oct 09

djd says...

Dan, you have done well. You were thrown in at the deep end and have played well.
You still have a lot to learn but keep going.....you will get there.
Dan, you have done well. You were thrown in at the deep end and have played well. You still have a lot to learn but keep going.....you will get there. djd
  • Score: 1

10:51am Fri 16 Oct 09

djd says...

The team has palyed well this season with a few hiccups in the last few games.
The team has done well to get as far as it has. Hopefully they can put the last few games behind them and play as they have done for the rest of the season.
I'm looking for a win at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
The team has palyed well this season with a few hiccups in the last few games. The team has done well to get as far as it has. Hopefully they can put the last few games behind them and play as they have done for the rest of the season. I'm looking for a win at Accrington Stanley on Saturday. djd
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Fri 16 Oct 09

Pogo_Power says...

Why on earth did we get rid of Ryan Pryce, he was the real future for this club.
Why on earth did we get rid of Ryan Pryce, he was the real future for this club. Pogo_Power
  • Score: -1

2:19pm Fri 16 Oct 09

kenneth ormerod says...

Sadly Pogo we will never find out,, secret service as always. Dan will be ok .
Sadly Pogo we will never find out,, secret service as always. Dan will be ok . kenneth ormerod
  • Score: 1

2:45pm Fri 16 Oct 09

bmb says...

Pogo_Power wrote:
Why on earth did we get rid of Ryan Pryce, he was the real future for this club.
Because Eddie Howe did not think him good enough according to Eddie anyway.
.
Well done to young Dan, it can't be easy playing with boys in the morning, men in the afternoon and he is adapting brilliantly. Keep it up kid.
[quote][p][bold]Pogo_Power[/bold] wrote: Why on earth did we get rid of Ryan Pryce, he was the real future for this club.[/p][/quote]Because Eddie Howe did not think him good enough according to Eddie anyway. . Well done to young Dan, it can't be easy playing with boys in the morning, men in the afternoon and he is adapting brilliantly. Keep it up kid. bmb
  • Score: 1

3:13pm Fri 16 Oct 09

devon exile says...

bmb wrote:
Pogo_Power wrote: Why on earth did we get rid of Ryan Pryce, he was the real future for this club.
Because Eddie Howe did not think him good enough according to Eddie anyway. . Well done to young Dan, it can't be easy playing with boys in the morning, men in the afternoon and he is adapting brilliantly. Keep it up kid.
I think anyone who had seen Ryan perform whould disagree with Eddie on that one but he is the man paid to make these desicions and I suspect it wont be the last wrong one he makes
[quote][p][bold]bmb[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Pogo_Power[/bold] wrote: Why on earth did we get rid of Ryan Pryce, he was the real future for this club.[/p][/quote]Because Eddie Howe did not think him good enough according to Eddie anyway. . Well done to young Dan, it can't be easy playing with boys in the morning, men in the afternoon and he is adapting brilliantly. Keep it up kid.[/p][/quote]I think anyone who had seen Ryan perform whould disagree with Eddie on that one but he is the man paid to make these desicions and I suspect it wont be the last wrong one he makes devon exile
  • Score: -1

3:22pm Fri 16 Oct 09

flyingleaper says...

Maybe Ryan----did not fit in with the team--WHO KNOWS,--Eddie knows best!Well done Dan,safe hands---AAAAAAAHHHHH
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Maybe Ryan----did not fit in with the team--WHO KNOWS,--Eddie knows best!Well done Dan,safe hands---AAAAAAAHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH flyingleaper
  • Score: 1

3:41pm Fri 16 Oct 09

danlee_bmth says...

I think the only reason Pryce was shown the door was to release a squad position so that Lovell could join, unfortunately the FL reneged on the "20 man squad" deal (according to other reports). I can't state that as a matter of fact but can say it has been reported on the comments on other bulletins and if my memory serves me rightly it was in the Echo last Sat?

UP THE CHERRIES!!
I think the only reason Pryce was shown the door was to release a squad position so that Lovell could join, unfortunately the FL reneged on the "20 man squad" deal (according to other reports). I can't state that as a matter of fact but can say it has been reported on the comments on other bulletins and if my memory serves me rightly it was in the Echo last Sat? UP THE CHERRIES!! danlee_bmth
  • Score: -1

10:35pm Fri 16 Oct 09

kenneth ormerod says...

What do the echo know. They get all their info off the vitals site.
What do the echo know. They get all their info off the vitals site. kenneth ormerod
  • Score: -1

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