Dom Thomas may only be 22, but that isn’t stopping his aspirations of becoming a successful youth coach.
Dom Thomas currently plays for Dumbarton, on loan from Kilmarnock, and has also enjoyed spells at Motherwell and Queen of the South. Despite being in the infancy of his career, Thomas explained he is eager to get into youth football coaching sooner rather than later:
“The way Scottish football is, for me, is that its downfall comes from coaching. I want to make my mark on the game as early as I can." said Thomas.
“It’s frustrating to watch young kids playing up and down the country go into pro youth football and coaching. I feel that the ability gets knocked out of them a bit and they're not allowed to go and express themselves, which I don't agree with. I’ve experienced it myself and I just think the way some players are coached, I just don’t agree with it.”
These thoughts have Thomas determined to provide coaching to youths in his local area of Cambuslang, which he has done through his Dom Thomas Soccer School.
“I set up the academy about a year ago but it mainly consisted of small group sessions. I decided to do some camps over October which I felt was the perfect time to start doing the camps. We’ve had 64 boys come through which is absolutely amazing. It’s good for me also as it taking place in Cambuslang, which is where I grew up playing.”
Thomas, having finished his early youth career, is hoping he can leave a good impression on those who come to his camps: “For me I want to make it as enjoyable as possible. I make sure they play with a smile on their face and make friends. The kids have been polite and well-mannered as well which make it easier for me as a coach.
“Obviously there are serious elements to it but if I get a talented kid in, I tell them to express themselves, take as many touches, and make that great pass. In this country you’re told you need to be big and strong, for me I want to express my kid’s ability.”
Thomas already has plans for the future, and hopes he can continue to influence the way young people from Cambuslang play the beautiful game: “I want to teach the younger age groups what I have learnt from my own experience.
If you have an ability, go and show your ability. Whether that be through my camps or out with your friends, because sooner or later you’ll look back and wish you had done certain things better.”