Aswad targeting a promotion push after joining Grimsby Town
HIGHLY-rated former Braintree Town defender Aswad Thomas has vowed to help the Mariners get 'back to where they belong' after being unveiled as the club's latest summer signing.
The 22-year-old – who is currently at the centre of a court case after it was alleged that a Mariners fan racially abused a Braintree player at Blundell Park last season – has joined Town on a two-year deal from their league rivals for an undisclosed fee.
Later this month, the Londoner is due to give evidence at the trial of a Grimsby woman who denies a charge of racially-aggravated public disorder during Braintree's game with Grimsby in March.
The left-back made 43 appearances for the Essex side last season, including both games against the Mariners.
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Thomas began his career with Charlton Athletic after graduating as a trainee, although opportunities at The Valley were limited.
After spells on loan at Accrington Stanley, Barnet and Lewes he finally joined Woking in 2009 before signing for Braintree in July last year.
During his time at the Amlin Stadium, he has earned rave reviews for his performances and was called up to the England C contingency squad for the game against Gibraltar in November.
Thomas was a target for many clubs this summer and Town are believed to have faced fierce competition for his signature.
But speaking to the Telegraph after the move was announced, he said that as soon as he became aware of the Mariners' interest, he was keen to get his move to Cleethorpes finalised.
"It's been up in the air for a while, so I'm delighted to have finally signed" he said.
"I've known about Grimsby's interest since the end of the season, so it has been stressful at times because I wanted to get the deal done and signed.
"Now that I have, I'm really looking forward to kicking on with preseason and getting the season started.
"I remember playing against Grimsby to the end of last season and thinking that there was a real buzz about the place.
"It seemed like a great place to be, so I was delighted to hear that they were interested. I told my agents that I wanted to join Grimsby and here we are today.
"I want to focus on coming through pre-season fit and raring to go, and then help this club get promoted because we should be in the league again – that's where it belongs."