Melbourne Victory’s Lawrence Thomas wants to take his game to the next level this season – his first Hyundai A-League campaign as the No.1 goalkeeper at the club.
Having spent his first five seasons at Victory as the club’s reserve gloveman, Thomas has made a starting spot his own after working his way past Danny Vukovic in 2015/16.
Alistair Bray has been signed as Victory’s back-up goalkeeper.
Thomas is set to play his seventh game in Victory’s next fixture, which would equal his best Hyundai A-League campaign of 2014/15, when he took over from the injured Nathan Coe to help Victory claim the Premiership-Championship double.
Victory’s match away to Wellington Phoenix, which was scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed as Westpac Stadium was damaged during Monday’s earthquake in New Zealand.
Having earned his first clean sheet of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season in a 3-0 triumph over Western Sydney Wanderers at the weekend, Thomas is looking forward to improving throughout the campaign.
“I’m really glad and happy to have that opportunity now to critique my game every week, and that’s something you obviously miss when you’re not playing,” he said.
“You can train all you want, but to do that under stadium lights and in front of a crowd is a completely different thing.
“So (it’s) just the opportunity to play every week and really pick on my game and hopefully refine it every game and see where it takes me.”
Victory’s win over the Wanderers saw debutant Max Beister score his first goal for Kevin Muscat’s side, with the Mainz loanee looking lively in his second-half cameo.
Beister’s goal sparked a huge celebration around Victory’s bench involving all players and coaching staff, and Thomas revealed the 26-year-old German had been blown away by the response.
“I think him coming on and scoring was probably the best thing for him to feel a part of the club and feel welcome,” Thomas said of Beister.
“So that’s why I sort of ran the whole way up the field – I was pretty tired running back, actually – but I thought it was important to share that moment with him.
“I think he was really excited and maybe partly surprised by the atmosphere there. I don’t know if he expects that from Australian football but he came in and said ‘wow, it’s really loud’.”