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Like father, like son: Billy Thomas follows in his dad’s goalkeeping gloves

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Goalkeeper Billy Thomas is plotting a well trodden family path to Shortwood United.

The 19-year-old stopper put pen to paper on a move from Gloucestershire Northern Senior League champions Chalford to Hellenic League outfit Shortwood United and follows in the footsteps of his goalkeeping dad Adam and uncle Ashley, who made the same switch from Chalford to Meadowbank many moons ago.

His dad Adam is pleased to see his son make the step up: “I’m really happy for him. Some people have questioned whether or not he’s ready to play at that level, but my brother Ash and I were at Shortwood at his age and we were questioned if we were good enough. Bill just has to prove he can do it and I know he can.”

Thomas senior, who works alongside his son at Graduate Gardeners, is Chalford’s goalkeeping coach even had to go between the sticks when his son was injured last season: “Bill played more than me last year, but I stepped in when he was injured and suspended.”

As the Shortwood Thomas dynasty continues, Thomas is looking forward to seeing his son grace Meadowbank, and the visit of his twin brother from America, he added: “I didn’t play at Shortwood for long under John Evans at the time, but I love Shortwood for what ties my brother has with them. He was an instrumental figure and leader for Shortwood and I know Ash (Thomas) will be really proud to see him playing, hopefully when he’s back at Christmas.”

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