Wayne’s calming influence driving Stratford Town forward

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New loan signing Wayne Thomas inspired Stratford Town to a 2-0 derby success over Banbury United last Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson

GOALKEEPER Niall Cooper has hailed the “calming influence” Wayne Thomas has had on his team-mates since arriving at Stratford Town.

Former Southampton and Stoke City defender Thomas arrived at the DCS last Friday after signing on a month-long loan from Kidderminster Harriers.

The 37-year-old made his Town debut on Saturday, inspiring his new side to a superb 2-0 victory over play-off hopefuls Banbury United.

The victory has moved Town up to 16th in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division and Cooper is adamant that his new colleague has had a sizeable impact.

“It’s great to have Wayne at the club,” said Cooper, who was named man-of-the-match against Banbury.

“He’s come in and been a real calming influence.

“We didn’t drop off and we kept a high line against Banbury and sometimes you need that older head in there.

“Wayne just knows where to be due to his experience. He doesn’t run around a lot and he can’t because of his age, but then he doesn’t need to.

“It’s what we’ve been needing all season. He’s moved for £1.2 million in the past so he’s a big fish!

“If he ends up staying with us next year, that would be such a massive boost for the club.”

Stratford return to action on Saturday when they go to St Neots, a side in desperate need of three points as they bid to stave off the threat of relegation.

More in this week’s Herald.