Debutant provides experienced head for Saints

Simon Thomas has a shot at goal. Picture: Leigh Page

Simon Thomas has a shot at goal. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

Simon Thomas impressed his new manager in his debut for St Albans City on Saturday against Weston-super-Mare.

Thomas, who signed from Chesham United on Friday, played up front with John Frendo in a traditional 4-4-2. His hold up play was superb and he provided a target man for City, although he was far from a long-ball specialist.

More importantly, he freed up Frendo to take up good positions and challenge Weston’s defence.

Speaking after the game, joint manager James Gray said: “He’s a big, physical lad. I’ve played against him and I know what he can offer. He won every flick on and kept the ball in important areas, which freed up Frendo’s physical games.

“As debuts go, it was a very impressive one. We need to make sure he’s not going to be a one game wonder, we’ll work with him and, as the lads get to know him and how he plays, he can be an asset for us in the run in and for the future as well.”

The 31-year-old provided the Saints with experience at Conference South, and it showed with his intelligent play and communication with his team-mates.

“Coming into a young group, the experienced guys need to make their thoughts heard on the pitch,” said Gray. “It means we can relax; something I made a conscious effort to do but I’m still kicking and heading every ball.

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“He was captain at Chesham and you can see he has the leadership qualities that we need all over the park. To have one up top will only help us.”