Ben Thompson is back with Wroxham
14:06 04 September 2012
Wroxham boss David Batch says the return of striker Ben Thompson is like signing a new player.
Thompson played for Yachtsmen at Romford on Sunday when they picked up their first Ryman League Division One North win of the season –24 hours after making a cameo appearance for the club’s second string in the Mummery Cup.
Two goals on Saturday in what was essentially a 45-minute fitness test was enough to convince Batch that former Norwich City Academy player Thompson, who has been out since the start of pre-season with knee ligament damage, was ready for a return.
“He wanted to try it out in a match situation – fortunately we could play him 45 minutes on Saturday and then 60 or 70 minutes at Romford and he was outstanding.
“He has adapted his game a little bit, which is pleasing, and he did really well. I think as well, Matt Blake benefited because of that.”
Thompson’s return provided a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for Batch, who is also without experienced defender Graham Challen, who broke his ankle whilst on holiday, and has been playing Paul Cook, who is still troubled by a knee injury.
“It’s like having a brand new player,” said Batch. “Since the start of the season I knew we would get stronger after the first few games. Ben was injured but due to come back, Challen is still out and Cook is not really ready, but we had to play him.
“We will continue to get stronger.”
The victory was a welcome monkey off Wroxham’s back, but Batch is making no promises as to the consequences.
“We shall see what the effect is, but if we do certain things properly, we will get points, whether we play well or not,” he said. “If we do that and play well, then we will get 10, 15 more points. It is about going back to what we were good at last year.”
“In these first few games we have not really been on it, partly because of enforced changes.
“We had four of our starting XI retire from last season, plus the others we have injured - that’s seven players and that is a lot of changes.
“A lot of people we brought in have looked really good and could do better than some who are no longer with us, but things don’t happen overnight.”