'Their Thoughts on Thommo' -
Ahead of Paul Thomas' 250th SANFL League Match on Friday Night Peter Argent has gathered some words from many Central District Club People and past Premiership Players:
Kris Grant – Central District CEO
“I’ve known Paul since he was three days old.
“‘Thomo’ knows nothing else but the Central District Football Club.
“A Bulldogs clubman through and through, he a credit to himself in the way he has handled his football career.
“He is one of our most decorated and credentialed players in our clubs history.”
Roy Laird – CDFC Senior Coach
“Paul was a very driven individual who prepares as well as anyone.
“As a result gets the best out of himself.
“This professional has been a fantastic example in our football club.
“A natural competitor and the way he goes about his football at 100 per cent and is an example to the rest of the playing group.”
James Gowans – Premiership team mate
“‘Thomo’s’ been awesome player for our club in a really strong period.
“He’s certainly from the club’s heartland and purely done it all on hard work
“His work ethic is exceptional – his team mates see how hard he works
“Initially he broke into the side as a lad and played his role.
“A role model at doggie-land, he’s durable and a real credit to himself and his family.
“He could have given away a few less free kicks.”
Chris Gowans – Premiership team mate
“‘Thomo’ was always been a good worker, so determined.
“My first memory of Paul was on the footy trip in Phuket back in 2000, before he played league footy.
“He was always around the older guys – gaining information and wanting to learn.
“He roomed with Danny Hulm on that footy trip, which was an experience for a young ‘Thomo’.
“This is what his footy was like – he always had a crack –
“On the field is he the one that chases
“He got his shot at AFL purely on grunt.
“You have to admire ‘Thomo’ because it all comes back to hard work.
“He plays with aggression and intensity, and had a bit of luck with injury.”
Jason Mackenzie – Premiership Team mate
“He is the most driven and dedicated person I have played with.
“Paul would push himself with high standards, both on the training track and game day.
“His determination and will to win has been a key to his success, longevity and a feature of his leadership.
“Among my lasting memories (and still see him do it) of him selflessly chasing three or four opposition before finally nailing one with a tackle or sprinting 150 metres to make a tackle/perform smother/influence disposal which epitomises what Central have built success on
“Thomo's love of the club is well documented, we are all fortunate to play/have played at Central District, in Thomo's case it certainly is as much the club being fortunate to have him play with them.”
Matthew Slade – Premiership Team mate
“Thomo and I have shared a fair bit over our football journeys together.
“We’ve played in six flags together and lifted the Thomas Seymour Hill trophy up for three successive years, before I let him do it on his own in 2010.
“We could have shared a Magarey medal in 2004, but he grabbed that extra vote.
“I’ll give him his dues as he said on the night he was happy to share it win me.
“I said a number of years ago, that ‘Thomo’ will walk away from Elizabeth with legendary status, with the amount of accolades and the durability his shown both for the club and at state representative level.”
Jeff Brown - CDFC reserves coach
“Paul would be in the top half a dozen players since I’ve been watching the club play.
“That goes back 45 years.
“Football aside, he is a man of great moral ethics and is a tremendous family man.
Lynton Prosser – CDFC Equipment Steward
“I’ve known Thomo for 20 plus years now.
“Having seen him grow from a young lad to a great young man and father.
“Along the way he’s been a fantastic footballer and clubman
“One night at Norwood we left his number 16 jumper behind.
“He wore the number one jumper that night and it didn’t fluster him at all.
Tom Zorich - Former CDFC President
"Thommo is a Champion who epitomises the local community".
"He has grown into a Footballer, a decent person and a family man".
"He thoroughly deserves all the cudos that comes his way in regards to his 250th game"
"Very proud to be associated with Paul Thomas' football life"
"He honours the #16 guernsey in our Football Club".
"Have a great game on Friday Night, lets bring home a win".
Allan Turbill – CDFC League team manager
“Paul was born and bred here really.
“He has grown up at Central District and Elizabeth Oval.
“I can remember when he was a little kid – always been around and keen.
“Now he brings Austin to the Club, like his father did with him.
“When the league side lost the 2002 Grand Final he got cranky that they weren’t recognizing the reserves win.
“A great kid, he always very approachable, appreciates and pays respect to the officials and staff around the club.”
Michael Godden – SA State coach 2012-14
“‘Thomo’ has a genuine passion for state footy.
“Everything I asked of him, he was always keen to do.
“On each occasion he led the group really well.”
Daniel Healy – Thomas’s first premiership captain
“The thing you note he won a Magarey 10 and half years ago – and he was already a mature player.
”He was a lot younger than the way he acted and played which is a credit
“He was all destined to be a leader
“At the premiership dinner in 2005, he said in a throw-away line, when we were getting photograph taken together - current and future club captain.”
“But this showed his passion for the club and where he wanted to go long term.
“His durability and preparation have always been first class.
Jamie Thomas – Paul’s father
“I’m obviously very proud of Paul.
“Not only for what he’s done in club footy, but for his state as well.
“I was lucky enough to watch him captain SA in Melbourne last year, which was special.
“The way he goes about his business is second to none.
“He has been an inspiration for the whole family.
“To have Paul come through the grades, I feel like I’m blessed
“Many of the family will be at the game on Friday.
“With his twin brother Adam and sister, Kelly, the kids would come to training and be looked after by the back room staff, since they were small.”
|Central's Captain Paul Thomas during 2011|
At his evasive best... A fleet footed "Thommo" in 2010
|Holding the Thomas Seymour Hill Trophy in 2004. One of six times he has been part of an SANFL Premiership Team.|
|Magarey Medal Night 2004.|
PAUL THOMAS - CAREER STATS SO FAR
Recruited from: Elizabeth
League debut: 2001
2004 Magarey Medallist
SANFL Premiership Player 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (Co-Captain 2007, 2008, 2009, Captain 2010)
Advertiser Team of Year 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Bob Quinn Medallist (ANZAC Day) 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011
SANFL State Team Representative 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 (Vice Captain 2006, 2008, Captain 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014)
Essendon (AFL) 8 games 2005
Norm Russell Medal (CDFC Best and Fairest) 2004, 2009
CDFC Captain/Co-Captain 2007-current
2001 League Development Award