Tom Glover was just 14 when he was approached with an offer to trial overseas.
Playing in Sydney for NPL NSW outfit Sutherland Sharks at the time, Glover was on a flight to London two weeks after this impromptu meeting where he would eventually sign for Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur.
In Glover’s five years at Spurs he sat behind Premier League veterans Michel Vorm and World Cup winner Hugo Lloris in the pecking order – signing professionally in 2015 after impressing at youth level for the under 18’s and 21’s – making several appearances on the bench behind the two established goalkeepers.
Despite not getting any senior minutes the experience was an invaluable one for the young goalkeeper – one which has motivated him to return to Europe as an “established number one.”
“At such a young age I didn’t expect to be in that position at 17-18 I was full time with the first team,” he said.
“Having [Vorm and Lloris] as your mentors and the likes of Harry Kane shooting at you; balls are flying in the back of the net but when you go and train with the under-23’s it feels a bit easier and you can see they’re world class players.
“But in terms of Vorm and Lloris, they were amazing for me on and off the pitch. I can’t thank those guys enough for what they did for me, at such an early age.”
“I left there on good terms I left because I wanted to play games. I played reserves quite early and wanted that first team experience and at Tottenham trying to jump Vorm and Lloris for a young kid is very hard. For me, the next step was coming back to gain that first team experience so later down the track to go back over there to be an established number one.”
Glover’s desire for first team football saw him loaned out to the Mariners in 2017, before signing permanently at Melbourne City at the beginning of this season.
The 22-year-old has made four appearances for City this season and was part of Australia’s successful Olympic qualification campaign in January – starting every match for the Olyroos.
Both Bouzanis and Glover have traded places in the starting team, with the 22-year-old coming in for Bouzanis in December before being called up to the national team.
It was during Glover’s stint with the Olyroos where Bouzanis rediscovered his form by keeping consecutive clean sheets, before he was left out of City’s derby win against Melbourne Victory.
“It’s always good to have healthy competition as a goalkeeper,” Glover said.
“Every day we’re pushing each-other and we’re working to make each other better. I was right behind him and now he’s right behind me now. It’s my spot to lose at the moment so I have to keep working hard, it starts at training and this week’s game.
“Only one goalkeeper can play it’s not like you can come on the 60th minute and be part of the constant rotation. I don’t know how to explain it but there is that saying, ‘the goalkeeper union’ and there is a union because whoever is playing you have to support and the team comes first at the end of the day. It’s a hard one but you have to back whoever’s in goal.”