Trinidad and Tobago National Under 20 head coach Zoran Vranes will have a new member added to his squad prior to the FIFA Under 20 World Championship next month. He is Southampton midfielder Jake Thomson.
The player’s name came up in talks in recent months and he accepted the invitation to join the T&T squad after TTFF officials met with the player on Friday and according to team head of delegation Cheryl Abrams, the talks were very encouraging.
”This is very good news for us to know that he will be able to join us,” Vranes told TTFF Media. “Of course we have to see how well he fits into the team but competition for places in the team is always good and we will welcome that. Anything to improve the team will be a plus for us.”
A recent report on the Southampton site described Thomson, even at 20, as one of the more experienced heads in the team. He has made four appearances for the Southampton first team this season in the League One.
“At 20 years of age Thomson found himself as being one of the more experienced heads in the side, a responsibility he didn't shy away from in his approach to the game last night.”
Thomson, who was born in England with Trinidadian parentage, enjoyed a solid pre-season for the club far but with the arrival of new manager Alan Pardew has not changed his focus. On the international stage, he has been a key part of the Under 17s set-up, scoring a memorable brace against Italy in a 2006 European Championships qualifier.
He signed a new one-year contract in June 2008 and enjoyed a run in the first team under Jan Poortvliet before spending a successful one month loan spell at Bournemouth between January and February 2009.
"A new manager always has his own ideas, but it is a clean slate and there are chances now to progress. This is where it starts for a lot of players now.
"I started pre-season well and I feel fit and ready to go for the new season. Right now I think I'm settled on the right side of midfield but I have got the ability to play in other positions, so I'm focusing on that position at the moment until somebody else tells me otherwise,” Thomson said.
He is likely to wear the T&T colours during its upcoming training camp either in Turkey or Cyprus prior to the team’s arrival in Alexandria, Egypt in September.
Meantime, T&T’s Under 20s lost 2-1 to Bradford Avenue in a friendly on Friday. The team departs for Turkey on Monday.