Nottingham Forest under-18 star Joel Thompson has been tipped for a bright future and at the weekend he did something remarkable. The young guns faced Derby County at the Nigel Doughty Training Ground and ran out 3-0 winners.
Thompson was another player signed from Northern Ireland. He was snapped up amid interest from much bigger clubs from Crusaders where he was a part of their academy.
Thompson had made six appearances for the first team in Northern Ireland. He then moved to Forest where he immediately linked up with the under-18 ranks to try and impress.
Disaster struck Thompson in October. He broke his leg in an unfortunate training ground incident and that saw him sidelined during his maiden campaign at the club.
Prior to Saturday, he had made just a single appearance for the Reds’ under-18s. He made his first appearance as Forest lost 1-0 to Liverpool on their travels back in October.
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Thompson returned to action on Saturday as the Reds once again defeated rivals, Derby. He was a substitute during the clash and came on for some badly-needed game time during the contest.
The 17-year-old has worked tirelessly to get to this point. It’s really quite remarkable that at such a young age he’s managed to get himself fit enough to play within six months.
Thompson did something remarkable at the weekend and Forest future is bright
The Reds always target the Northern Irish contingent when it comes to their youth recruitment. Dale Taylor is another player in the ranks with a bright future, although he’s currently on loan at Burton.
Thompson can operate as a central defender or in the heart of midfield. He’s a seriously hardworking player and the future looks extremely bright for the man who stepped up at Crusaders.
The challenge for the teenager now is to keep gaining sharpness. The player should get a chance to play for the team again between now and the end of the season.
He will hope that his injury holds up okay. The youngster has been forced to mentally cope with a serious injury at such a young age and perhaps this will put him in good stead going forward.