Barking & Dagenham boys to cheer Sorba Thomas at World Cup

Former members of the Barking & Dagenham Primary Schools set-up will be cheering for one of their ex-teammates during the World Cup in Qatar.

Sorba Thomas was named in the Wales squad for the tournament, which starts today, having represented the district back in 2009-10.

Newham-born Thomas went on to join the youth ranks at West Ham United, then began his senior career with Boreham Wood at the age of 17.

And in January 2021 he signed a contract with Huddersfield Town, making his Sky Bet Championship debut against Wycombe a month later.

He made his international debut for Wales last October as a substitute against the Czech Republic, having qualified through his mother, and got his first start against Estonia three days later.

And having signed a new long-term contract with Huddersfield in May, keeping him at the Yorkshire club until 2026, he was chosen by Welsh boss Robert Page for the World Cup and will hope to add to his six caps as Wales face the USA, Iran and England in group B.

Graeme Farquhar was one of the coaches who worked with Thomas during his time with Barking & Dagenham Schools, and said: “Sorba arrived at District trials in September 2009. He was quiet and small but we soon realised he was going to be a very good player. 

“He scored goals for fun that season as we won the Lester Finch Trophy for the first, and as yet, the only time and was a part of a very good squad, possibly one of the strongest that Barking & Dagenham have had for many years. 

“As the season progressed, Sorba wasn’t as quiet and his sense of humour and will to win shone throughout the season. You always knew he was around (in a good way) and if he was given a chance in front of goal, you’d put money on him scoring. 

“He was equally good with both feet and it wasn’t long before he was snapped up by West Ham United.

“Sorba was a brilliant kid and, despite being released by West Ham, he continued to work hard and it’s amazing what he has achieved. He’s a great kid who fully deserves everything he has. 

“We are all extremely proud of Sorba and wish him all the best for the World Cup (apart from he plays England!).”

Barking & Dagenham 2009-10 squad: Jack Kemsley (Rush Green), Daniel John (St Margaret’s), Daniel Parish (Henry Green), Jesse Amoh (Hunters Hall), Michael Turner (Warren Jr), Ricky Morris (St Peter’s), Aaron Molloy (William Ford), Jack Richardson (Roding), Nathan Casey (Cambell), Max Watters (Rush Green), Sorba Thomas (St Margaret’s), Scott Mitchell (Southwood), Jayke Welch (Ripple), Frankie Naidoo (Henry Green), Michael Folkes (St Margaret’s), Alfie Reynolds (Parsloes), Owen Carino (Hunters Hall), Sam Mercer (Hunters Hall), Daniel Cheema (Ripple).

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