NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Teenage talent Tom impressing Ely City boss

Ely City youngster Tom Thulborn. Picture: ELY CITY FC

Ely City youngster Tom Thulborn. Picture: ELY CITY FC - Credit: Archant

Teenage talent Tom Thulborn is firing his way into Ely City’s first team reckoning – after three goals in as many pre-season games.

The 18 year-old, who has come through the club’s youth side and played for their reserve team last season, has made a big impression on boss Brady Stone with his friendly performances.

Thulborn struck in the Robins’ 6-0 romp at Chatteris in their first outing on July 7 then found the net again as they beat another Cambs League side, Linton Granta, 3-2 last Thursday. Deakan Napier and Sam Reed also struck in the latter game.

Thulborn and Sam Goodge were then on target last Saturday as City triumphed 2-1 at Step 4 newcomers Yaxley – the reigning United Counties League Premier Division champions - last Saturday.

“It’s great to see a young talent like Tom emerge,” said City chief Stone. “Pre-season is all about giving opportunities to players and it is really pleasing when they are taken.

“Tom, Lewis Hook and Joe Brannan have all done really well for the first team so far this summer.

“We’re not going to rush out and bring in new players for the sake of it when we can look within and give lads already at the club a chance to progress.

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“It’s not about results in pre-season, but winning games of football is always a good habit.

“I was a little bit worried on Saturday given Yaxley won their league last year and we had five or six players missing.

“But we produced a really good performance and I was very impressed with what the young lads gave me.

“We were 1-0 down at the break, but we dominated the second half and we deservedly won the game.”

The vast majority of the City squad have now committed for another season. Stone is still waiting on midfielder James Seymour and striker Alex Theobald to make decisions.

Seymour has been training at Mildenhall this summer while Theobald has been nursing a groin injury and is expected back in the coming days.

But one man who won’t feature for City this season is Kelvin Enaro. Stone was hopeful of bringing the attacking ace back to the club, but he has now accepted a better offer from Step 6 newcomers Lakenheath.

Stone added: “We’re disappointed to miss out on Kelvin as he’s someone we really wanted to bring back to the club.

“But a team which has come up from the Cambs League and has blown us out of the water financially. We can’t compete with the kind of money that is being thrown around.

“I don’t blame clubs for spending it, and I don’t blame players for accepting it either. Every little helps as we live in a tough time.

“It can be frustrating at times, but we have to cut our cloth accordingly and build the right squad for Ely City.”

Ely continue their pre-season programme when hosting Wisbech Town tomorrow night (Friday, 7.45pm) in their only home friendly of the summer.

City kick off the new Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division season with back-to-back home games. They entertain newly-promoted Framlingham on Saturday, August 4 before hosting local rivals Newmarket on Tuesday, August 7.