Having being awarded a professional contract last summer after a successful apprenticeship Tom Sharpe, of Nottingham Forest, is prepared to bide his time this season as he strives for a place in Colin Calderwood’s first team squad.
LFE Online caught up with Tom at the City Ground to discuss his hopes and ambitions for the season.
In his first year as a professional Tom is well aware of the strides he needs to make if he is to emulate past successes of the Forest Academy that include Andy Reid (now Charlton Athletic), Jermaine Jenas (now Tottenham Hotspur & England), David Prutton (now Leeds Utd) and fellow centre half Michael Dawson (now Tottenham Hotspur).
“At the moment there are three players ahead of me in the pecking order for the first team so it’s not looking like I’ll get an immediate chance in the early part of the season. Hopefully I can continue to do well in the reserves and maybe after Christmas, or if there are any injuries, I’ll get my chance to show the gaffer what I can do in the first team.”
“I played in the reserves last year as an Apprentice which was a great grounding for me and hopefully I can push on this year. It was really good to get the experience but it did mean a lot of catching up on the education side with Brian and Jim during the evening in the study support centre at the City Ground.”
Tom’s development hasn’t only been on the pitch. The Forest professional also excelled in the classroom achieving a BTEC National Diploma with mainly distinction grades in a commendable two years.
He went on to say:
“Everything at the club is geared to help you both with your football and education. Being an Apprentice at a Club like Forest provides you with the best of both worlds, Nick Marshall and Chris Fairclough and the coaches are excellent while Brian Smith and Jim King provide fantastic support with the education side of things.”