In the relatively short life of ‘The World Scout’ I have had a few detractors try and tell me that my bias towards Australian players is somewhat sickening. Well I don’t care, because I have found another Aussie trying to make his way in the beautiful game and you are going to hear all about him.
Born in Norway to an English father, Tom King finally settled with his family in Perth, Australia. It was here in the country dominated egg shaped football codes and cricket that the youngster’s passion for real football and Liverpool Football Club began to grow.
“My Dad is from Liverpool so naturally I grew up supporting the Reds,” said Tom in an interview after signing with the famous English clubs youth academy.
The full back signed for Liverpool after being spotted playing in The Australian National Training Centre by Manchester Utd when he was just 12 years old. He later flew over to the UK for trials with Utd, Manchester City and of course Liverpool choosing the reds as his first foreign football adventure. It was here that I saw him play during a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic. King picked up the man of the match award and I was expecting to hear a lot more from him over the coming years. But not long after an injury stifled spell he was released, much to the annoyance of some Liverpool fans that had seen him play for the U18s
“u18s left back set to join stoke. looked a decent player every time ive seen him play,” said one on the LFC fans forum.
“Gutted to hear that he’s going!!, he’s a good player,” said another.
“I’ve had a few injuries this year. I had a problem with my back, then I recovered from that and a week later I did my Achilles. Hopefully that’s the end of my problems,” said King not long before his departure.
A spell with Stoke City followed before he joined up with the promising Bristol City U21 squad in 2013.
Unfortunately I don’t have much video to show you on this one. But I can remember the performance he put in against Charlton. In that particular game Tom simply didn’t put a foot wrong. His reading of the game and positional sense was nothing but first class. He never looked flustered was calm in possession and didn’t give the ball away. It was a truly professional performance that had me very excited for his future. But since his release from Anfield I have been wondering what could have been missing from his game to cause such a sudden exit. The only thing I could think of was his lack of threat going forward. Yes I only saw one game but during it there was a definite lack of drive to overlap and cause problems at the other end of the field. In today’s game when the attacking full back is key to many teams options in the final third I just don’t think King offered enough to make the grade at Anfield. I not saying this will never be a part of his game but it is something he will have to work on during his time with Bristol City. In fact I think this step down will be a good one for him. First team opportunities will come and if all goes well in his development I expect to see him on a Socceroo’s shirt soon.