University beckons as Tom Price calls time on his 14-year spell at Stratford Town
FOR Tom Price, Stratford Town always felt like home – but after 14 years at his beloved club, a new adventure awaits.
Loyalty is always hard to come by in football, regardless of the level, but Price can look back on his time at Knights Lane with fond memories.
Yes, there have been offers to play his football elsewhere, and there was even a time when Derby County came calling when the now 18-year-old was representing Warwickshire in the Midland Counties League.
Price opted against the move to the Rams and has never looked back.
Notably, he has seen several close friends picked up by professional clubs, to then be “unceremoniously” released a couple of years later.
It’s that kind of heartbreak which can make or break an aspiring footballer. But does the midfielder-turned-defender regret that decision?
Not at all. If anything, it spurred him on to keep enjoying his football – and that’s ultimately what mattered most.
The football journey at Stratford Town started as a four-year-old and after progressing through the age groups, he’s now off to university to study sports science and management
Tom’s proud father Richard Price told the Herald: “All the way through his time in football, the decisions he has made have been his own, we’ve never pushed him to do something he did not want to. Tom has always been realistic and he’s seen good friends go to pro clubs aged ten to then get unceremoniously released when they’re 13, 14 or 15.
“In hindsight, staying at Stratford Town for 14 years has always seemed the right decision for Tom. All he has ever wanted to do is progress to the extent where he could still enjoy football. There’s never been any pressure on Tom and the support he has had at Stratford Town has been outstanding. Even when he was injured, the club helped so much – it’s such a professional environment.”
He added: “Tom has always made sensible decisions and he’s come out of this very happy. He’s always been interested in the business side of sport and is quite entrepreneurial, so he’s now looking forward to university.”