Kevin Thomson admitted he “nearly lost his love for football” at the very start of his career, in an exclusive interview with YFS’ Adam Binnie.
Speaking on his time at Coventry as a youth player, Thomson was able to impart vital advice to youngsters who are forging their path in football.
“Coventry tested my resolve” said Thomson, as he opened up about the bullying he was subjected to by his teammates in England, saying he didn’t feel as “streetwise” as necessary due to his upbringing in Peebles.
Starting as a youngster at Peebles Rovers, Thomson quickly progressed to Hutchison Vale, a team also known for producing Allan McGregor and Leigh Griffiths.
From Hutchison Vale, Thomson found himself on trial with Coventry City however, not everything went to plan in his time down south, as he found multiple problems occurring in his time there.
Despite this, he signed his first professional contract in the West Midlands due to his outstanding ability but again, Thomson he felt himself “gravitating towards becoming a cheeky teenager.”
The 35-year-old admitted had a cocky confidence having signed a professional contract and he found himself beginning to “test the boundaries” in a negative way in multiple aspects of his life, such as staying out past his curfew.
After a few months at Coventry, he left the club and moved back to Scotland, feeling his time there had a negative impact on him. Being back home and able to have a chilled kick about with his friends really brought this love for the game and soon after, he was on trial with Hibernian.
Just fifteen minutes into his trial at Hibs, he was offered a contract and joined a team regarded as specialists in bringing through youth players at the time.
Thomson was in a team alongside Scott Brown, Steven Whittaker and other players that would go on to be full internationals, much like Kevin himself.
Tom Miller, of Rangers TV, accompanied the chat and chipped in with interesting insight, opinions and questions throughout and called Thomson’s era at Hibs a “golden generation”.
Throughout the interview, Thomson pointed out that hard work is the most important thing in football, adding: “The player that moans about hard work is the player who never succeeds, the player who embraces hard work is the player who gets to the top”.
He makes it clear that he always embraced hard work and that got him to the highest level in football. This is a mindset he transfers to his under-18 Rangers side that he currently coaches.
Going back to his own playing career, Thomson talked through the £2million move to Rangers. His time at Ibrox included an Old Firm winning goal and a UEFA Cup run that saw him reach the final of the competition against all odds.
After Rangers Thomson found himself having spells at Middleborough, Hibs and Dundee before retiring in 2016. Since the end of his football career, Kevin has enjoyed a media career with both Rangers TV and BT Sport. Alongside his coaching role in the Rangers Academy and the launch of his own private coaching academy, The Kevin Thomson academy.
Be sure to watch Adam Binnie’s interview on the YFSTV YouTube channel for a more interesting and in-depth look at Kevin’s career as a whole. You can subscribe here.