Five minutes with: Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas

Lawrence Thomas thought he at least looked a little bit like Ryan Gosling, but his family had a different opinion!

Lawrence Thomas

Melbourne Victory shot stopper Lawrence Thomas has become a key player for Kevin Muscat's side. Source: Getty Images

TWG: You're 24 and a lot of people think that's not far out of the baby stage for a goalkeeper at this level. But how do you feel?

LT: You do hear that a lot, but I've been at the club for six years now so I don't feel like that at all. I feel like I've come a long way, but if you manage things well as a goalkeeper you can play for a very long time. Hopefully there's another good 10-to-15 years left in me.

TWG: You must love it when you see goalkeepers still playing at this level at 35-to-40 years old.

LT: Yeah, of course, but I get a bit of a sore back now, so I'd better take care of myself! But that's the aim, mate, to hopefully kick on for quite a long while.

TWG: You spent some time at Sheffield United when you were still a teenager and you trialled at Coventry City before that. How was that experience for you, as a player and a person?

LT: When you're a kid in Australia you think that these overseas players are super-human, but once you go there you realise that, yeah, it's a lot higher level, but it's still all about hard work. Being away from the family forces you to grow up quickly as well. You're staying in 'digs' with families you don't know and it can be quite lonely at times.

TWG: We normally see the goalkeepers go and talk to each other at the end of games. Are you friends with all of the other A-League 'keepers or are there some you secretly hate?

LT: (Laughs) No, I don't hate many people in general, I'm quite a relaxed guy. There's always that mutual respect between 'keepers. You talk about the game and if the other guy has had a big impact with his performance you congratulate him. I've been teammates with a few 'keepers now at Victory and I've always gotten on well with them. 'Vuka' (Danny Vukovic) was here last season and he's a great bloke. I'm sure it's not like that everywhere and that there are a few 'keepers who don't get on, but I haven't experienced that.

TWG: Has anyone ever told you that you look like Ryan Gosling, the actor?

LT: (Laughs) Who told you that? At home, I used to stir them and say that I did, but then they found this guy called Marty Feldman and they reckoned I looked like him.

TWG: He was an actor and comedian who had these huge eyes that looked like they were popping out of his head.

LT: I'll take the Ryan Gosling comparison any day my friend, thank you for that.

TWG: If you could pick any four people for a dinner party, two from football and two from any other walk of life, who would you have there?

LT: I'd take Peter Schmeichel and Jose Mourinho from football. Out of football I'd love to have my mum and dad along - Linda and Andrew. My dad passed away just before my 16th birthday, but if I could wave a magic wand I'd have him there. Mum and dad have been massive role models for me.

TWG: What's the best thing that has ever happened to you?

LT: Wow, these are big questions! I'd say meeting my beautiful lady, Ashley. We've been together for a bit over a year.

TWG: It sounds like you're in love!

LT: Oh, I am, my friend. Happy to say so.

TWG: If football stopped right now and you had the opportunity to go anywhere in the world on a fully-paid holiday, where would you go?

LT: Italy, for sure. I went there on a two-week trip when I was at the AIS and I have a lot of family there, on my mother's side. I'd love to go there for a holiday and see them.

TWG: Finally, are you always in goalkeeper mode? If something falls off the kitchen bench do you find yourself diving for it?

LT: No, when I'm not playing I'm extremely dopey. I drop things and forget things. Goalkeeper is a very mentally taxing position, you're always concentrating hard. I'm very switched on when I'm out there, but I like to drop back a few gears when I'm not playing or training.

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5 min read
Published 23 February 2017 at 7:51pm
By Greg Prichard