Perth Glory has confirmed that striker Thomas James has signed for the club.
The 27-year-old, who scored 24 goals for Wollongong Wolves in the NPL NSW last season en route to claiming the competition’s Golden Boot and Player of the Year Award, has put pen to paper on a deal that will run through to the end of the current campaign.
London-born James was a part of the youth system at Nottingham Forest and played for Boston United in the UK before moving to Australia in 2015 and duly scoring a remarkable 80 goals in 83 games for Canberra FC in the NPL Capital Football competition.
Having continued his prolific form in front of goal at Wollongong, James was linked with a number of Hyundai A-League clubs over the past 12 months and Glory Football Director Jacob Burns is delighted that the club have managed to secure the frontman’s services.
"Thomas is a player that we’ve been monitoring for some time," he said, "and we’ve given him this short-term deal with a view to it being extended should he impress when the season resumes.
"A quick and versatile central striker with a proven goalscoring record, we believe he has the ability to play at a higher level and look forward to seeing him prove that in the coming weeks.
"He will give us another exciting attacking option during what will be an intensive period with the games coming thick and fast."
James himself, meanwhile, is understandably relishing the opportunity to reignite his professional football ambitions with Glory.
"This was the solid offer that I was waiting for and from a top club like Perth Glory, it was impossible to knock back," he said.
"Now I just want to enjoy every minute, have no regrets and get on the field as much as I can because I know I’ll score a few goals, that’s for sure.
"I was actually in hospital when I found out about Glory’s interest because I’d just had a new-born baby boy, so I was super-excited about the birth of my child and about the opportunity to play for Perth."
Current Wollongong Head Coach and former Socceroo Luke Wilkshire is similarly confident that James has what it takes to make the step up from NPL level.
"He’s a goalscorer, he’s quick and creative and always a threat for defenders," he said.
"He’s always had that goalscoring ability, but he’s now brought more into his game off the ball as well, improved mentally and physically and I have no doubt that he’s good enough to be playing in the A-League."
James will join up with the rest of the Glory squad upon their arrival in Sydney later today.