The 18-year-old journeyed to London from his native Sydney, Australia, to join our Academy set-up two years ago and has made fantastic progress since.
He’s already playing above his age group with eight appearances for our Under-21s to his name so far this season, has been training regularly with the first team and has been involved in the pre-match goalkeepers’ warm-up on matchdays in the last few weeks.
He kept a clean sheet in his most recent Under-21s outing as we sent a strong Porto side home to Portugal on the wrong end of a 4-0 defeat in the Premier League International Cup, a result which he said came as the icing on the cake following a good period of progress on and off the pitch.
“I’ve over the moon to sign a new contract,” he said after putting pen to paper. “These last few weeks in particular have been great, training with the first team, signing a new contract and the Porto result just tops it all off with the 4-0 win.
“It’s great to be able to work with the talented goalkeepers we have here and they’ve been a great help to me in my progress, especially this season.
“Working with Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm and Luke McGee, who has really pushed me – as well as our coach Toni Jimenez and Rob Burch (Academy goalkeeping coach) – can only improve me and I feel like I’ve made good progress, but I need to keep going now and keep striving to get better.
“My targets for the moment are to keep playing regularly for the Under-21s, keep training with the first team and being involved in matchday squads and build on things from there.”
Moving away from his family to the other side of the globe to follow his dream of becoming a professional footballer would have undoubtedly been difficult for the teenager, but he feels he coped with the change well and is fully settled in the capital.
Now he’s looking to continue his development with the aim of one day following the path trodden by so many of our talented youngsters in recent years by making a breakthrough at senior level.
“At the start it was obviously tough – coming to train with the Under-18s at 15 years old and moving away from my family at such a young age is obviously the hardest thing a young person could do so I had to mature very quickly,” explained Tom, who has been capped by Australia at Under-19 level this year.
“I feel like I’ve done that so I’ve just got to crack on now. It’s great to look at the likes of Andros Townsend, Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb and even now Josh Onomah and see the progress that they’ve made. It gives us younger lads confidence that we could do it as well if we stay on top of our game and work hard each and every day.”