Share this @internewscast.com
Never mind the Premier League, Sorba Thomas has Hollywood in his sights. ‘I am living a movie right now,’ grins the Huddersfield and Wales winger. ‘I hope they can make a film and Will Smith can play me!’
Screenwriters should take note. For in the next eight days, the former scaffolder could complete a rags-to-riches story reminiscent to that of Jamie Vardy, whose own biopic has already been commissioned.
Just 16 months ago, Thomas was still playing in non-League for Boreham Wood. But now the 23-year-old is just two play-off final wins away from the Premier League and a World Cup.
Sorba Thomas and Huddersfield Town are just one step away from the Premier League
It was just last January that Thomas was playing non-league football for Boreham Wood
How good does that sound? ‘Amazing,’ replies Thomas. ‘Those are two dreams that could come together in the space of a week. I don’t think anything would top that in my career.’
From Boreham Wood to Wembley, Thomas’ remarkable journey began after the heartbreak of being released by West Ham as a 15-year-old.
‘That was the first time I’d been told I wasn’t good enough and it hit me very deep,’ he reflects. ‘I threw my boots in the bin. But a year later my friends and family got me back playing and I went straight to Sports Direct to get a new pair!’
It was at another sports shop, though, that Thomas spent much of his next year. ‘When I first went to Boreham Wood, I was working at JD Sports in Oxford Circus,’ he recalls.
Thomas hopes to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Jamie Vardy who also played non-league
‘I did not like that at all. In your head, you are thinking, “I really need to make it as a footballer, I can’t do this every week”.
‘Then I went into scaffolding. It was cold mornings and long days. I started at 6am and wouldn’t finish until 7pm.
‘That was another one where I thought, “I can’t do this for the rest of my life, I need to be playing in big stadiums, big moments”.
‘But I would never take back anything that I’ve done. I feel like my drive has come through those cold days of scaffolding.’
Huddersfield reached the final after a hard-fought semi-final victory over Luton Town
Thomas reckons he probably earned more from those cold days scaffolding than he did from football back then. But that all changed last January when he was signed by Championship side Huddersfield, even if it did take him a while to get his head around his newfound wealth.
‘I remember my team-mates talking about win bonuses,’ recalls Thomas about a dressing-room conversation after beating Reading in August. ‘I asked, “Do we have to share this?. ‘They said, “No, that’s all yours”.
‘I had a massive smile on my face after that. It was good money. I bought a few trainers with it!’
There have been many more bonuses and trainers since then, with Thomas’ fine form in his first full season with Huddersfield helping them reach Sunday’s play-off final against Nottingham Forest.
Thomas has got 16 assists and three goals this season which earned him a new contract
His 16 assists and three goals saw him earn a new contract last week and he has also won three caps with Wales – the country of his mother’s birth, who face Scotland or Ukraine next Sunday for a place at the World Cup in Qatar.
‘Every time I go to a camp, I pinch myself,’ admits Newham-born Thomas, who father is from Sierra Leonne. ‘These are people who I played as on FIFA or watched on TV and I am now their team-mate. Last year, if you told me I could possibly play at a World Cup the following year, I wouldn’t have believed you.’
But Thomas always believed the Premier League was a possibility, even if others did not.
‘When I came, there were a lot of doubters,’ he adds. ‘But I think I have now turned all those doubters into believers.
Huddersfield are reaping the reward of taking Thomas straight from non-league football
‘When you see the success stories of players like Vardy, Michail Antonio, Tyrone Mings, who came from non-League to playing in the Premier League, you always believe your time will come.
‘Not many Championship clubs take a player straight from non-League but Huddersfield took the risk.
‘Hopefully, I can repay them by putting them in the Premier League. It’s just one more game to turn a dream into a reality.’