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“Billy Thomas has been fantastic for Shortwood and we are disappointed to lose him” – Marcus Foxwell

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Teenage Shortwood United goalkeeper Billy Thomas is set to join Southern Premier Division Swindon Supermarine.

The 19-year-old has played a pivotal role for the Nailsworth club this season after making the step up from Gloucestershire Northern Senior League Chalford.

Thomas will be reunited with his former boss Dan Gillespie at Marine, who left the Meadowbank club earlier the season to join former Forest Green and Luton striker Stuart Fleetwood.

Shortwood boss Marcus Foxwell said: “Billy is a great goalkeeper, who is still learning his trade in the men’s game at his tender age. He has been fantastic for us so far this season and we are disappointed to lose him especially in the circumstances. He has a lot of potential as long as he continues to learn and develop on the pitch.

DSC09466 1 | "Billy Thomas has been fantastic for Shortwood and we are disappointed to lose him" - Marcus Foxwell
Marcus Foxwell, Shortwood boss Pic: Brian Rossiter

“At Shortwood, we always look to develop players and give them opportunities to thrive which is exactly what we done with Billy. I would never stand in a players way who wants to go and test themselves by playing at a higher level, but at the same time, I am also a strong believer that you learn most when your on the pitch playing and come up against different situations that you need to find a way to combat through.”

Shortwood also lost striker Ryan Dobbins to Ledbury before Christmas, but Foxwell has bolstered his ranks with two key incomings.

DSC07460 1 | "Billy Thomas has been fantastic for Shortwood and we are disappointed to lose him" - Marcus Foxwell
Ryan Dobbins Pic: Brian Rossiter

Foxwell added: “We signed Elliot Martin towards the end of November and is a player I played with previously and I knew what qualities he could bring to the team. He offers us a different option in midfield with his own unique style of play. He has been superb and has picked up two man-of-the-match awards from our last three games.

“We also signed Olly Whelan back in December, who has again been tremendous for us since signing and has seamlessly struck up a solid centre back partnership with our captain Joe Tryner.”

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