Simon Wright on Hereford’s surprise signing Thompson-Sommers
Kane Angleis Gavin Thompson Sommers was born in December 2000 in London and was raised in North London, probably based in Palmers Green. Arsenal FC was always his team so imagine the consternation when Spurs academy wanted to sign him. Twelve-year-old Kane closed his eyes, held his nose and reluctantly signed for Tottenham.
For four years, the youngster and at least one of his parents travelled back and forth for training, matches and the odd tour. It’s the side of football no-one wants to see, the cost, time and energy expended in return for mainly shattered dreams. Decision time approached as KTS neared his 16th birthday, half-hoping to earn a scholarship. As he told Woking TV “I really wasn’t happy there.” Spurs said No to a scholarship, a surprise to seasoned youth team watchers who thought the midfielder was one of four players unlucky not to be taken on.
His Academy coaches used their network to find him another gig. A few clubs were “sniffing” but none locally. Birmingham City were keen and dangled an offer. It meant leaving home at an early age. But how else to realise that dream? The choice to live in Birmingham and learn the language was hard. “A tough, tough decision.” But he went. He was homesick in the early weeks but battled through it.
Kane completed his Blues scholarship and was given a professional contract in June 2019. “I had to work hard, listen and improve” he told a babbling Bluenose commentator. He was elevated to regular action with the Bluenose U23’s, 26 games in all with only a late season injury preventing more action. He was overdue for proper football. His agent asked around and when Woking’s name came up, the midfielder was immediately interested. The stockbroker belt club was handy for his family’s home. Kane would be loaned to the Step One club for half a season from August 2021.
Although the midfielder scored on his debut in a 4-0 cruise at Torquay, he had precious little game time, making 11 cameo appearances, all off the bench. Woking were having a grim time and Kane was recalled in Birmingham to the half-world of their Category 2 Academy. The addition to his CV was far more modest than he and the second city club had hoped.
Predictably, Birmingham released him this summer. Kane had trials with Aldershot and then for Cardiff where he was spotted playing at Edgar Street. “Who’s that?” exclaimed our Gaffer of the stand out player on the Welsh side. Presumably a conversation post-match clarified the young triallist was unlikely to join the Bluebirds and could be open to an approach. Being based in Birmingham was ideal for Bulls training in Walsall and as decent as it can be for the home and away games driveathons.
The 21-year old’s start for the Bulls v Spennymoor was his first ever in mens football “I’ve been waiting for a chance to play in front of fans.” He fitted in straight away. Talking to guru Keith Hall, Josh Gowling was effusive in his praise of his new recruit. “He’s so comfortable on the ball. He wants the ball to play forward, he wins balls back, he’s got great energy, he’s got great legs which is what you need..”
Kane looks an exciting prospect. We wish him all the best. Meanwhile a weary kit man and shirt printer is firing off an urgent memo to Josh to say “can we stop signing players with double-barrel names? They take ages to print!”