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Thompson goes non-league

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 03/08/2003

CHRIS Thompson will not be returning to Blundell Park for the new season after signing a two-year contract with Conference outfit Northwich Victoria.

21-year-old Thompson was released by the Mariners just before his contract expired in June. Manager Paul Groves did however give hope that Thompson could be re-signed if he was unable to bring an replacement in.

Thompson spent part of the summer in Belgium with KV Mechelen in a bid to win a contract. The Liverpool born striker was then put in touch with Vics manager Steve Davis who offered a trial. With time running out before the season, Thompson wasted no time in impressing Davis by scoring in his first trial game against Whitton.

After two more impressive performances, Davis gave Thompson a two-year deal and is still thanking his good luck at finding the player.

"I am glad he did not play for us against Tranmere or we would have lost him straight away," a delighted Davis said.

"He was prolific at Liverpool as a youngster and was only freed by Grimsby because they wanted him to take a 30% pay cut.

"I know their coach, Paul Wilkinson, and he reckons he should not have been released. He can score, has two good feet, is strong, quick and skilful. He's been offered a contract in Belgium but is settled in Warrington."

Thompson was brought to Blundell Park by former manager Lennie Lawrence in the summer of 2001 as part of a plan to kick-start the flagging youth system. Only 9 first team starts were made for the first team, with just the single goal in the 2-0 win over Stoke this February.




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