Grand Final is Thomas' time to shine

Melbourne Victory incumbent keeper Lawrence Thomas hopes Sunday’s A-League Grand Final is his time to shine.

Thomas, who turned 23 last week, has had a handful of previous stints as Victory number one but has never been able to nail down his position.

However, the door has opened for Thomas in the finals series in the wake of a season-ending back injury to Nathan Coe.

Thomas, who has been at Victory since 2011, said he felt he’d never been in better condition, having learnt from his previous experiences.

“I came in a few times where I’ve learnt a lot from those experiences,” Thomas told FourFourTwo.

“I’d have a blinder in one or two games, then make a silly mistake in the odd game.

“I’ve had patches where I probably didn’t take the opportunity with both hands.

“But I learnt from that not to get too caught up in the game and overthink it.”

Thomas believes his best football is played when he’s relaxed, revealing he’ll likely enjoy a long sleep-in on Sunday before the 4pm kick-off.

With that in mind, he said he’d enjoyed the injured Coe’s support this week.

“He’s been around the club and tried to keep upbeat,” Thomas said.

“It must be a difficult time for him, playing such a massive part to get us to this stage and not being involved at this time of year.

“He’s tried to keep everything relaxed and happy.”

Thomas said he was delighted to get his chance to simply contribute.

“If I had have got to this stage without having played one minute it would’ve been a weird feeling if we went on to win it,” he said.

“You’re involved but you don’t play any minutes. I’m just happy to contribute to the success.”

Sunday’s decider will undoubtedly be the biggest in Thomas’ short career, but given his experiences with Victory, he is used to such atmosphere.

He added: “We need to play the game not the occasion.”