He's a virtual unknown but could the A-League have finally woken up to star NPL striker Thomas James?
The NSW NPL goal machine from ladder leaders Wollongong Wolves is on the radar of at least one A-League club.
He’s been a superstar in Capital Football, and now the NPL NSW, but could he make his A-League debut later this year?
Sources tell FTBL that Central Coast Mariners are at least one A-League club closely monitoring the striker’s breakout season in the NSW NPL.
New Mariners boss Alen Stajcic could be poised to swoop as he rebuilds his battered Mariners on a budget.
James, 25, has smashed an impressive 12 goals in nine games for the NSW south coast-based Wolves.
“TJ” is a great example of the talent often hidden in the NPLs around Australia.
James has been a goal machine in the NPL Capital Football competition, scoring a staggering 80 goals in 83 games over the last four years.
In 2018, he banged in 19 goals in 17 games for Canberra FC to justify his reputation as the hottest striker in the ACT.
After a pre-season trial game for Wolves against the Mariners, James did enough to impress former Socceroo and Sydney FC defender Luke Wilkshire, who is managing his hometown club the Wolves this season.
The former World Cup Socceroo who has played in England, Holland, and Russia, didn't need much convincing and snapped up the Englishman in the off-season.
"He is quick, has a good first touch, can beat a defender, works hard and can obviously find the back of the net," Wilkshire said after James inked his two-year deal.
And what a smart move that’s turned out to be.
Far from being a step up, James has continued his sensational scoring form in the powerful NSW NPL.
Those in the know believe he’ll win the player of the year award in NSW.
As we continue our A-League Talent Radar from NPLs across Australia, James is one of six in the NSW NPL that FTBL will name as potential A-League signings.