With Rob Wolleaston, Lee Phillips and Daryl Clare all joining the Diamonds in recent weeks, its heartening to see one of last years squad publicly and contractually commit his future to the club. Lee Tomlin, 19, has been playing with the Diamonds since his debut as Rushden’s youngest ever player in 2005. He commited his future at the club with a 4-year contract, set to see him remain at NP until 2011.
By his own admission he did not have the best campaign last term – just one goal, in the 3-0 win over Ebbsfleet – but he remains full of confidence for the following term. “I am very confident we can get back in the League. We did pretty well against the top sides last season so there’s no reason why we can’t do it. All the boys want to get back into the Football League and now it’s a matter of going and doing it.”
He takes a realistic view to his role next term, appreciating the competition Phillips, Clare, and Rankine will provide. “I see myself being on the wings for the new season. The club have brought in two top quality strikers in and I see myself more as an attacking player out wide”
Lee has earnt interest from a number of big clubs, including Liverpool (with whom he earned a trial) and Chelsea, but his sporadic scoring habits have presumeably diminished any chance of a big-money bid. In his 3 years at the club, Lee has scored six goals in either the league, or the FA Cup, and has scored a handful in friendlies and Hillier Cup ties. Nonetheless, his optimism is shared by manager Garry Hill:
“Leeis an exciting prospect for Rushden & Diamonds and I am delighted that he has shown his loyalty to the Club by committing to a new deal. I have no doubt that Lee will now push on and continue to develop as a footballer. The deal also demonstrates the benefits of the Rushden & Diamonds Youth Scheme that has already brought so many young players through to first team level and I hope that continues to be the case in the future”
Above photo stolen cheekily from Official Site… apologies (and credit to) Mal Swinden.