Thomas gunning for number one jersey

Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas says feels he has demonstrated enough to claim the first-choice goalkeeping spot.

Thomas featured as a key contributor in the 2015 A-League Grand Final win against Sydney FC as then first-choice goalkeeper Nathan Coe was ruled out on the eve of the finals with a back injury.

As Coe departed last season, Danny Vukovic who was brought in from Perth Glory who claimed the starting position. However it took until Round 24 against Newcastle Jets for Thomas’ opportunity to come after their lacklustre 5-0 loss to Brisbane Roar away the week before.

Days after the game against the Jets, Thomas said he wanted the responsibility after sitting on the sidelines for too long.

The 23-year-old said on the Daily Football Show last Friday he felt he deserved to be the starting keeper.

“Last year and this year I think I’ve proven myself as a solid number one,” Thomas said.

“Early on (in my career), I admit I was a bit nervy as a young boy, mentally I probably thought about the game a bit too much and made some mistakes.

“I think I’m doing everything I can. I’ve put in my name, so I’ll keep working hard and doing what I’m doing, but at the end of the day it’s not really my decision.”

Victory made history last Tuesday night progressing to the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League for the first time in their history after defeating Gamba Osaka 2-1 at AAMI Park.

Fans and cohort of the club had to wait another night to learn their opponents Jeonbuk Motors, who they will face in the first leg at home in two weeks.

Jeonbuk were also a foe not to be forgotten, after they knocked Victory out of their last ACL campaign.

Thomas also conceded it felt like Victory had sold themselves short after a season where they only just made finals and bombed out first game.

However the young goalkeeper was determined to make amends and history against Jeonbuk.

“This club with the expectations being so high and to finish sixth was very disappointing. The semi-final to switch off in those last few months, overall this year we were nowhere near we wanted to be,” he said on DFS.

“We dropped a lot of points in games we shouldn’t have, I think we started the season well, we had a game in hand at one point, but we also had a bad patch.

“Being part of this club, every game, we’re expected to win regardless of who we play. That’s the goal and expectation we go through.

“There was a bit of added incentive with a responsibility to give some of the boys an opportunity to play for this club. 

“Personally and for the team, the domestic season didn’t go as well as we wanted. I guess this is a little step to place things back the way they should be at this club.”