Sorba Thomas was playing in the National League as recently as January but could now replace crocked Gareth Bale on Friday night away to the Czech Republic in a World Cup qualifier
Sorba Thomas admits his incredible journey this year from Non-League football to the international stage has stunned many people.
But the Huddersfield wideman says the doubters have only given him “fuel” to continue his remarkable rise.
After being let go by West Ham as a teenager, Thomas, 22, drifted out of the game and went into scaffolding.
Now he is climbing his way back to the top after being plucked by Championship club Huddersfield from National League outfit Boreham Wood as recently as January.
International recognition from Wales is the latest feat ahead of uncapped Thomas’ expected debut this week with Gareth Bale is injured.
His call-up last month had mum Gail, from Newport, in tears of joy.
And his inclusion in Wales’ squad was certainly a shock to EA Sports’ FIFA 22 computer game after they put an England flag on his new game card.
Thomas quickly added his own Welsh flag over the top on social media.
He remains unhappy with his rating but thrilled to be team-mates alongside the likes of Aaron Ramsey who he previously just knew from computer games.
Thomas reflected: “I had some hard cold days doing scaffolding putting those poles up.
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“When I started to play it was to try and get to the top and rub it in a few people’s faces – a few people who didn’t really believe in me back then.
“I will never forget that day when they told me I wasn’t good enough at West Ham.
“For me it is a lot of fuel to burn.
“Now I’m standing right next to boys that I saw playing on FIFA not long ago.
“It’s an amazing feeling.
“But my card, i think the whole card i wasn’t happy about to be honest.
“Hopefully it gets changed soon.
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“Both the flag and I was not happy with the stats.
“Pace 80 pace – I don’t know who they have been watching on the games but it wasn’t me.”
Thomas struggled to make an impact with Town last term as he adjusted to demands of the full-time game.
But he came back early for pre-season after putting in the hard yards pounding the beaches of Porthcawl to shape up for this season.
August’s Championship player of the month has since impressed with one goal and six assists already.
He could make his bow on Friday night in Prague against the Czech Republic in a World Cup qualifier before Wales visit Estonia on Monday.
He said: “Getting told I had been selected for Wales , I remember sitting in the hotel room and I was literally speechless.
“It was a dream come true.
“The first thing I did was call my mum and I had her crying to me on the phone.
“Now I open the door of my hotel room and I see Aaron Ramsey straight across me.
“Sometimes I have to pinch myself. It’s crazy.”
Thomas had some culture shocks when he initially joined Town.
He said: “When the chairman was talking about when you win, you get this much money, i honestly thought it was for the whole squad and you just split it.
“Then they told me: ‘no, that is your win bonus’.”