Aswad Thomas insists England C outing will benefit him and Grimsby Town
ASWAD Thomas may have tasted defeat with England C but the full-back insists the experience will benefit him – and Grimsby Town.
The 23-year-old played the full 90 minutes of Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Turkey at Dartford’s Princes Park.
A goal from Galatasaray winger Aydin Yilmaz three minutes from time settled the International Challenge Trophy semi-final clash.
But Thomas believes the chance to play alongside the best Under-23 players from outside the Football League – and against full Turkish internationals – will help him improve.
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The former Charlton Athletic trainee was particularly impressed with visiting playmaker Emre Colak, another Galatasaray man, who played at Old Trafford in the Champions League this season.
He told the Telegraph: “Some of their players had been capped by Turkey’s full team or played for teams like Galatasaray, so it was a great game to be involved in.
“There was some real quality in their side, and their centre-midfielder, Colak, was class. His technique and touch were superb – you could tell he was a top, top player.
“It’s fantastic to play international football at whatever level – you’re taking on different players and seeing different tactics.
“Coming up against players like that, you have to be that bit sharper, so it helps improve you as a footballer.
“I need to take what I’ve learnt there and use that to make me a better player.
“I speak to the coaches and get feedback from them, little tips and things I can do, and obviously that helps.”
The opportunity to ‘spy’ on some of the top players from Town’s Conference rivals was also not missed by Thomas.
“It means you can take a look at some of the players we’ll be coming up against later this season,” he added.
“During training I was keeping an eye on what some of the players are good at and not so good at.
“It was definitely food for thought for when we do come up against them.
“We trained at Millwall’s training ground and that was a good experience again.
“There was some good banter about league positions and things like that, which I don’t mind much at the moment!”
After making his debut for Paul Fairclough’s men in September’s 2-1 defeat in Belgium, Thomas was disappointed to suffer another defeat on the international stage.
“It was a bit heart-breaking to lose in the way we did,” he admitted.
“We actually had a player go off injured and didn’t manage to get the right-back on in time, so we only had ten men and the goal came from that side of the pitch.
“I was happy with my own display, though. I defended well, got forward when I could, and had a few shots on goal.
“We were asked to go and play a high, pressing game, so their winger didn’t really have a chance to run at me.
“He looked a decent enough player but I restricted him mostly to just playing the ball back by getting tight to him.
“It was a really good experience and something that will help me in the future.”