New addition Thomas James is confident he will provide the cure to the goal scoring problems that plagued the Wollongong Wolves last season.
The London-born striker was officially unveiled as a Wolves player on Monday after signing a two-year deal with the club last week.
He plans to hit the ground running in his debut season in the National Premier League Men’s 1 as the Wolves look to bounce back from a season which saw them net just 23 goals in 22 games.
“I’ve backed myself so I will deliver. I don’t doubt myself,” James said. “I will definitely get the amount of goals I want to score .
“I don’t just score goals. I create chances. I am not selfish and I think we will definitely score more goals than 23 this year.”
James arrival is a timely one for the Wolves, with star Peter Simonoski and strike partner Yuzo Tashiro both departing in the off-season.
He comes to Wollongong with an impressive resume from his time the NPL Capital Football competition. James moved to the nation’s capital five years ago and linked up with Canberra FC after playing in the English lower leagues.
While at Canberra, he scored 80 goals in 83 games and won the Golden Boot and Player Of The Year award last season.
It came as Canberra FC secured a memorable title treble. A call from the Wolves followed not long after his grand final victory at the club, with an offer to play in Wollongong’s trial hit out against Central Coast Mariners on the table.
“I was always planning on leaving Canberra to play somewhere better and had a few teams contact me but when Luke [Wilkshire] rang me, it was a different scenario,” James said.
“I jumped at the chance to come and play for the Wolves.”
James is the first major signing of new Wolves coach Luke Wilkshire’s tenure in charge of the club.
Wilkshire was a member of Wollongong’s playing squad last year, but replaces Jacob Timpano on the sidelines.
He was pleased to have James on-board.
“We were well aware that the big problem for us was scoring goals and if you look at his track record, he has scored them in abundance,” Wilkshire said.
“He is an ideal fit for our club.
“Bringing in a striker was definitely one [thing we wanted to do].
“If you don’t score goals you don’t win games so that is important, but in saying that we also have a lot of young, local talent who have the opportunity now that I am also expecting goals from.”
The Wolves will have their first match of the pre-season against the Australian Indigenous team, known as Mariya, on Saturday at Albert Butler Memorial Park.
“It is going to be a great game against the indigenous side,” Wilkshire said.
“It will be a great day of football in general with the young Stingrays playing beforehand as well. Everyone is going to get minutes so it is going to be a great opportunity for people to get out and see the new squad that we’ve put together.”