Thomas trains with professional goalkeepers

Thomas Griffin with England goalkeeping coach Mick Payne
Thomas Griffin with England goalkeeping coach Mick Payne

While other 12-year-olds were enjoying their school holidays budding young goalkeeper from Knottingley Thomas Griffin travelled down south to Hertfordshire to start his pre-season training just like the professionals.

The De Lacy Academy student attended The Art of Saving Residential Goalkeeper Camp along with over 100 other keepers from all ages and countries such as Estonia, Dubai, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland, Wales as well as England.

The course is organised and led by Mick Payne who is a qualified UEFA A licenced goalkeeper coach. He is also the England C goalkeeping coach and technical manager of the England amateur team.

During the course Thomas was put through his paces in many aspects of goalkeeping with eight-hour training sessions.

He was also given a chance to train with professional goalkeepers fresh from competitive games for a number of clubs, including Gillingham, Crawley, Tottenham, Reading and Birmingham.

Thomas, who plays for Pontefract St Joseph’s under 13s this season, has ambitions to make it as a professional goalkeeper and is well on his way to achieving his goals having already had interest shown from Football League clubs Barnsley and Leeds United.

He also attends Just4Keepers North Sheffield where he is coached on a regular basis by Paul Heritage.

He enjoyed The Art of Saving Camp so much that he has already signed up to attend next year where again his skills will be relentlessly tested over the course of a weekend.