Authenticity a driver for Daisy

Thomas celebrates with some of his biggest supporters, daughter Matilda and girlfriend Natasha.

Thomas celebrates with some of his biggest supporters, daughter Matilda and girlfriend Natasha.

Throughout Australia, in backyards all over the country, kids continue to watch and recreate their favourite footy moments, and it was no different for Dale Thomas.
Growing up on a hobby farm at Drouin South, Thomas would wake up, go to the TV and slot in the VCR tapes of his favourite player, Gary Ablett senior, before heading out to the paddock, footy in hand.
He’d try to recreate his favourite Ablett moments in front of the goal posts, launching himself in the air, while trying to kick miracle goals from the tightest of angles.
“It really was great growing up in the country and on a farm like that, there weren’t a whole lot of stresses as a kid and we had as much fun as we could and just tried to stay out of trouble until the sun went down,” Thomas said.
Thomas tried his hand in almost every sport, playing cricket at Ellinbank, footy at Hallora and Drouin, while also trying softball, korfball and basketball.
“In the end, I wasn’t really any good at those, footy really was the big one for me,” he laughed.
He began playing footy when he was just eight and was named captain of the Drouin under 14 side. However, it didn’t all go to plan for the budding star.
“I think we played Tooradin in my first game. We tossed the coin and clearly one of us wasn’t paying attention. I got the centre clearance and completely went the wrong way and kicked a behind. It ended up being their only score for the day. I guess it worked out, we needed them to score for the percentage,” he laughed.
It was clear Thomas was starting to excel and his passion for the game was well and truly blossoming. He’d carry a footy everywhere, at school, at the supermarket or down the street.
In 2005, Thomas was beginning to receive a lot of attention from recruiters. He was one of the best players for Gippsland Power.
While some draftees choose to block out the noise, he remembers sitting in front of the computer during Year 12 at Drouin Secondary College, reading.
“Throughout that year I remember sitting there going through and reading mock drafts after every game, and saw myself getting higher and higher, but really I was just happy to go anywhere,” he said.
Thomas’ game was one that stood out. The long blonde hair, the flair and natural feel for the game was something his coaches wanted him to show.


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