Saturday, 14 December 2013

Keeping it Real: Thomas Manos

After chatting with Thomas Manos you begin to understand how driven the sporting youth of today are.

His willingness to master every aspect of his game begins with his mental approach. Despite a small stature for a goalkeeper, Thomas displays leadership characteristics on the pitch that soon adds inches to his frame.
“I like to make up for my height disadvantage on the pitch by being loud and imposing by dominating the talk from the back,” the Western Sydney Wanderers number one explained."
“I may not have a large physical presence out there but if you watch the Wanderers play you will no doubt hear me communicating with the boys for the entire 90 minutes."
“It is one of my strengths that sets me apart from other keepers”
Since the ripe old age of twelve, Thomas’ love of protecting the eight-yard by eight-foot fortress began after a constant peppering from his cousin in the back yard. His tenacity eventually frustrated his cousin as he began saving more shots than his cousin could convert and so began his love of the glove.

A two-year apprenticeship at Jim Fraser’s International Goalkeepers Academy helped develop a technique that paired with a healthy enthusiasm and natural talent in defending the box.

Thomas’ steely determination to succeed in the football world was recognised last year as a worthy recipient of the Lucas Neill Scholarship. The scholarship helped open doors and allowed Thomas to travel abroad to experience how professional clubs like Bolton Wanderers approach their training regime.
“One thing you notice immediately is the intensity at each and every session."
“We would complete a series of keeping drill circuits lasting for three minutes that would leave you absolutely gasping for air and drain your energy reserves to empty.” 
On his return to the Red and Black Thomas was surprised at the huge gains in his mental approach and focus.
“The training is quite different in the UK with greater emphasis placed on fitness and intensity in sessions over technique.”
The experience has proved invaluable and has only strengthened his resolve in bettering his game.

Thomas is a young player who lives, eats and breathes football. So much so he has put off his University Criminology studies on the backburner for this year to focus solely on realising a dream of winning a Hyundai A-League contract. There is nothing else on Thomas’ radar other than the round ball, for the moment at least.

When asked who is the biggest inspiration in his career to date it was a definitive ringing endorsement to his father Bill.
“He is at all of my games and I love the chats we have in the long car trip home as we talk about what went right and wrong during the course of the match."
 “Together with goalkeeping coach Ron Corry, Dad is there every step of the way and helps in every aspect towards me achieving my football goals on and off the pitch.”
When asked what his ultimate football goal is Thomas isn’t shy in setting the bar nice and high, not unlike the crossbar he so often defends.
“No big deal but I would love to keep for Arsenal in the EPL!” 
Not surprisingly Thomas’ favourite players arguably the best keepers on the planet.

Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas is top dog as Thomas can draw comparisons with their similar height shortcomings.

Mat Ryan is a close second after a recent stint at the Central Coast Mariners opened his eyes to where he needs to be to cut it in the big European football leagues. Mark Schwarzer and Ante Covic round out the elite group.

Be sure to get out and experience tomorrow’s stars in the Foxtel National Youth League as they battle it out for a future spot in the Hyundai A-League. The Wanderers host Sydney FC this Saturday 14 December at Marconi Stadium with kick-off at 5pm.

No comments:

Post a Comment