Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Sorba Thomas determined to complete rapid rise from non-league to Premier League

Huddersfield’s Sorba Thomas was playing non-league football 16 months ago (Mike Egerton/PA)
Huddersfield’s Sorba Thomas was playing non-league football 16 months ago (Mike Egerton/PA)

Huddersfield midfielder Sorba Thomas hopes to complete a remarkable journey this weekend by winning Premier League promotion.

If the Terriers beat Nottingham Forest in Sunday’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final, Thomas will have risen from non-league football to the top flight in the space of 16 months.

The former Boreham Wood midfielder said: “I always believed. When you look at the success stories of Jamie Vardy, Michel Antonio, Tyrone Mings, who came from non-league, you have to always believe.

“I thought my time would come. Huddersfield took the risk, taking me from there and I’m repaying them by hopefully helping them into the Premier League.”

His meteoric ascent might not end there. Since being fast-tracked into Carlos Corberan’s first-team line-up after arriving at Huddersfield in January 2021, the 23-year-old has won three senior Wales caps.

His fairy-tale climb to the top could end at the World Cup in Qatar, with Wales set to play Ukraine or Scotland in their play-off final in Cardiff on June 5.

When Thomas was released by West Ham aged 16, he was ready to quit the game and threw his football boots in the bin.

Huddersfield's play-off semi-final win against Luton sparked wild celebrations at the John Smith's Stadium
Huddersfield’s play-off semi-final win against Luton sparked wild celebrations at the John Smith’s Stadium (Tim Goode/PA)

He then sold boots as a shop assistant and worked as a scaffolder, but it was not long before he was compelled to pursue his dreams.

“When I first went to Boreham Wood I was working at JD Sports in Oxford Circus, I was there for a year. I did not like that at all,” he said.

“You get all different types of customers and in your head you’re thinking ‘I really need to make it as a footballer, I can’t do this every week’.

“There was a little football floor upstairs and soon as they found out I played they sent me there.

“Because I played football, apparently I had all the knowledge in the world about football boots. It was crazy.

“Then I got into doing a bit of scaffolding and then towards the end I was doing a bit of coaching at the club and now here I am.”

Thomas has scored three goals and made 16 assists in all competitions this season and signed a new deal this month to tie him to Huddersfield until the summer of 2026.

When he was first called up by Wales boss Rob Page for the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic in October last year, he said he had to pinch himself.

He will do so again at Wembley on Sunday when he reflects on those shifts at JD Sports and on the building sites.

The Londoner added: “I thought here was cold, but when you do scaffolding, 6am in the morning and it’s freezing, I did not enjoy that all.

“It was another one that made me think I need to make it as a footballer. It was cold mornings, six in the morning to six or seven at night, long days.

“I just felt like ‘I can’t do this the rest of my life, I need to be playing in big stadiums and tournaments’. It is a massive moment in my career on Sunday.”