Wed, 25. Sep. 2013

Sugar Boy Zeph Adds International Flavour at Club

It’s not very often a team in the Evo-Stik Division One South can boast an internationally capped player in their side, but yet again Sheffield FC are out there pushing the boundaries, with the name Zephaniah Thomas - the St Kitts and Nevis International - sitting proudly amongst those who have worn the Red and Black of the World’s First Football Club.

Zeph has made an instant impact with Sheffield, coming off the bench to score on his debut against Lincoln United, and followed that up with goal-scoring starts at Rainworth and at home to Goole. It was after his man-of-the-match winning performance against Goole that we caught up with the well-travelled striker, found out about his incredibly diverse career, his scoring prowess… and of course how he came to be an international star with “The Sugar Boyz”…

“I’ve spent three months in Canada with Thunder Bay Chill,” Zeph told us, “I’d torn my groin and was out for six months, and so I went out there to get some game practice. I was in Scotland with Cowdenbeath before that, and I went on international duty for St Kitts and Nevis, played a few games there. Before that I was in Belgium, played there for six months, and before that I was playing local non-league. I was lucky to get my breakthrough to get into the pro game in Belgium and Scotland, and I’m back to Sheffield with Club now.”

Zeph isn’t the first Clubbie to have experienced football in the great nation of Canada, but how did he find it compared to football over here? “The standard of football in Canada was not too bad, we had a couple of players who’d had experience in Spain Premier Division and the Europa League, and it was better than I expected to be honest. It was very good technically and run on a very professional basis, I enjoyed it there, and it really was very good.”

The question on everyone’s lips is obviously how he came to be running out in the red and green of the Sugar Boyz? “When I was younger I played for Bradford City, and one of the coaches - Des Hazel - used to play for Chesterfield and the St Kitts national team, and I asked him to try and set me up with a number. I got in touch with their FA, who looked at some footage and got in touch with Des, and luckily I got called up to play in the Caribbean Cup. We played against Trinidad and Tobago and Anguilla, so it was a good experience.”

So, how exactly did Sheffield FC get so lucky to attract Zeph to the Home of Football? “I came back from Canada and was doing some training at Tranmere Rovers, and my international clearance didn’t come in time to play for their Reserves, so I spoke to Wit who invited me down for a trial game at Sheffield. I was lucky enough to score a goal on my trial - I remember it came on my left foot, and it flew in the net - I’ve had to bide my time, but with a bit of luck I’ll get the opportunity to play, and get a few more goals.”

“Obviously the Club has got a lot of history, they have a good set of fans and there are a good set of lads in the dressing room, we play good football and hopefully we can kick on and get some good positive results.”

What next then for this in-form striker? “At the minute I’m finding the net, and long may it continue - I should have had a couple more against Goole, which is a bit disappointing - but hopefully it is something to build on. I’m just enjoying my football and trying to score as many goals as I can, and you never know whose watching, you have to wait and see what happens.”

Whilst he’s with us, let’s hope he continues to entertain…

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