Tom Pett is a player I’ve championed for a while, ever since we first came into the Football League.
He was transfer listed by Stevenage at the beginning of last season after spurning a new deal and arrived at City just before the deadline closed in January.
It’s fair to say he has been one of the players who has impressed in the early stages of this season. Ahead of the big kick off few Imps had him in their starting XI, but some commanding and industrious performances have truly endeared him to fans.
This week I got a chance to chat to Tom for the club programme and, as part of my agreement with the club, I get to publish a few snippets for you here on the Stacey West.
We chatted a bit about his goal against Yeovil at the end of last season, the one that secured us a play off spot. It was perhaps the moment he announced his arrival after a couple of months of hard work.
“I remember saying in the press I wish the season never ended for me. I had a few good appearances, coming on against Accrington and of course Yeovil. In the weeks leading up to the Yeovil game Danny and Nicky were telling me how well I was doing and how I deserved the minutes on the pitch.”
The season did end though, leaving the midfielder with an important task, keeping the momentum going despite a summer lay off.
“I’ve had a good pre-season and I’ve been able to carry on the performances at the end of season into this campaign.”
This season we’ve seen so much more of the former Stevenage man. When he originally signed he was thought to be a winger, but as he explains he’s a midfielder and a rare one in the modern game; one who can operate deep and advanced with equal impact.
“I don’t have too much of a preference where I play in the midfield. Each position is different, especially with the profile of the player that we have, playing ten for Akinde and Rheady for instance. If they’re in the side I have to play a different game perhaps than with Greeny, Shay McCartan or Frecks.”
Whilst Pett certainly has qualities attacking, as his late arrival in the box for the goal against Macclesfield proved, he also seems comfortable playing much further back in midfield too.
“Every game is going to be different, but I enjoy playing a bit deeper too, you have the game ahead of you and have more options. Playing in the ten you have a centre half breathing down your neck and you’ve got your back to the game.”
Whichever role Tom plays, with his back to goal or with play ahead of him, he’ll relish getting minutes on the pitch. It will also add the element of surprise to the Imps line up as nobody will quite know which role he will be playing.
“If Danny asks me what position I want to play I’ll never have a preference. In both positions I have something different to bring. I’ve enjoyed playing in both roles and hopefully that will help me get a few more minutes. Hopefully if the opposition see me on the team sheet they won’t know which role I’m playing and won’t quite know how to defend against me.”
For the rest of the interview, where Tom offers advice to his teenage self, explains how coming through the non-league makes for an interesting Imps dynamic and a lot more, see the club programme this weekend.