Town call-ups cap Tom's memorable year

PUBLISHED: 13:15 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:58 04 March 2010

WHATEVER else he achieves in his career, Tom Ross will never forget 2008.

After being named man-of-the-match in Suffolk's FA County Youth Cup final success, finally Ross broke into the Woodbridge Town first team after patiently waiting in the wings for two years.

WHATEVER else he achieves in his career, Tom Ross will never forget 2008.

After being named man-of-the-match in Suffolk's FA County Youth Cup final success, finally Ross broke into the Woodbridge Town first team after patiently waiting in the wings for two years.

And to cap it off he then turned out for the Ipswich Town Youth team and the reserve team in the space of three days - lining up alongside the likes of Champions League winner Ivan Campo.

Ross, who still harbours hopes of making it in the professional game, said: “2008 has been a good year for me, but hopefully I can continue to progress in 2009 and maybe something will come up.”

Ross broke opponents Cambridgeshire's hearts in the FA County Youth Cup final at Portman Road back in April when he produced a string of top-class saves as Suffolk won 2-1.

He said at the time he hoped that his display may have caught the eye of watching scouts, and he was subsequently invited for a trial with Cambridge United.

“They said they could not afford to give me the same amount of money as I was getting in my full-time job, so nothing came of it,” said Ross, who was working as a roofer at the time but is ironically now out of work and looking for a job.

At the start of the season Ross returned to Ridgeons League Premier Division side Woodbridge Town, where he had been understudy to Marcus Garnham for the past two seasons, playing just a handful of matches.

With Garnham joining Bury Town this season Ross has been vying for the first team spot with Gary Rose, who joined from Leiston, and got his chance between the posts for the match away to league leaders Lowestoft Town at the start of November.

“We lost 3-2 but it was a really good game and I kept my place in the side for the next half-a-dozen matches,” he said.

Ross was asked by Ipswich Town academy coach and former Woodbridge first-team coach Sean Thacker, if he could help out the club due to injury and unavailability.

“I was on the bench against Fulham Under-18s and the week after I played against Portsmouth and felt I had a good game as we won 4-2, and the following Monday I played for the reserves against Watford.

“When I saw the reserve team and Ivan Campo was playing in front of me I could not believe it.

“Playing alongside players like him was something that I have dreamt about.

“Jaime Peters was also in the Ipswich team and they helped me throughout the game, but when I was talking to them I felt as though I had no right to!

“Although we lost 2-1 which was disappointing - it would have been better if we had won 2-1 - I felt as though I did okay and made a couple of decent saves.

“Everyone said 'well done' afterwards including (reserves development coach) Chris Kiwomya, who also said my kicking was good.

“I know it was a one-off, but if any of the keepers get injured again hopefully there will be another opportunity for me as I feel I could play at that level again. I have always wanted to be a professional footballer, but the older you get without becoming one so the dream gradually fades.

“I am 19 now, but maybe I will get spotted playing for Woodbridge Town.”

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