Archie's going places in Pembrokeshire Sport

Haverfordwest Cricket Club have drafted several talented teenagers into their first team for their recent campaign and one of them was Archie Thomas, who is already bowling at pace and beginning to earn a reputation as a big-hitting batsman who is sometimes pushed up to open to start the innings with a bang as he loves nothing better than sending the ball to the boundary.
 Archie ThomasAs well as his cricket at The Racecourse, Archie has also proved to be more than useful in other sports like athletics, football and rugby alongside surfing as a means of total relaxation.

Early start with The Town

Archie has been involved at The Racecourse since he was six years old after just turning up one Friday evening and joined in with a lot of other eager nippers who were coached by Andrew Phillips and sometimes by David Loosemore as they played soft ball and were allowed to develop their skills.
"When we started playing with a hard ball I was involved in a useful team that included Kieran O'Connor, Matthew Williams and Thomas Wood - and eventually I made it into the county team for my age group that was coached by Ian Poole and included his son Toby and Liam Cullen, now doing so well in football with Swansea City.

First taste of success

Archie's first taste of cricketing silverware came in 2014 when he helped The Town's youth team win the Ormond Cup.
"We had terrific players like Nikhil Mathias, Dan Cole, Kieran O'Connor and Kieran Griffiths, who was playing his last game before going off to a sporting scholarship at Millfield School. We also won the Ormond Youth Plate in 2016 but to be honest it wasn't quite the same thing."
By then Archie was beginning to make his way through the club's senior ranks, starting with the fourth XI captained by Andrew Phillips and then by Matthew Vaughan as skipper of the third team.
"I had two more seasons playing under James Morris and Simon Williams in the seconds and finally made my debut in the first team.

Surprise start in the first team

"I had a call from club captain Danny Potter at 3pm one day asking me if I could play in a Duggie Morris Cup tie at St Ishmaels that evening and found myself opening the batting and scoring 25, as well as grabbing my first wicket and helping the club into the next round.

Some other sports . . .

Outside of his cricket, Archie enjoys a range of other sports and for him there is nothing better for pure relaxation than a spot of surfing at Broad Haven, just a cricket-ball throw away from the family home.
"I started out with my dad Ian and had good advice from Peter Bownes - and even took part in competitions at Whitesands and Porthcawl, although now I use it mainly for having fun."
"Cross Country was another sport that I enjoyed, starting at Ysgol Glan Cleddau and then at Ysgol y Preseli, where teachers Gethin Vobe and Marc Lloyd gave me every encouragement as I competed regularly in the county championships at Oakwood - but always seemed to finish third behind Marinus Petersen and Matthew Williams!

. . . Including football . . .

"In football I started out with Prendergast Villa because my mates Alfie Stottor and Andrew John were there under the good coaching of Matthew Hughes.
"We didn't have a bad side and at under 16 level we came second to hot favourites Tenby but beat them 4-0 in the cup final at Monkton Swifts, in what was my last game of junior football.
"From there I started out in senior football with my home village of Broad Haven, coached by Dave Sudbury and Matthew Hughes - and we won the second division for the last two seasons.
"First we beat Clarbeston Road by 3-1 at Marble Hall, Milford Haven (and I scored the second goal) before we also beat Kilgetty last season by 1-0 at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium, thanks to a Chris Phillips' header.
"There was disappointment in the league, however,  as we needed a win last match to gain promotion and were leading 3-2 with seconds to go - but conceded a late goal and that was that!"

. . .  And rugby!

Rugby was another sporting favourite for Archie after dad Ian took him to Haverfordwest RFC and he took to the oval ball game like a duck to water alongside the likes of Kyle Williams and Jonathan Clout as they were coached by Dai Braithwaite, Alaric Churchill and Peter Williams.
"At first we ran around the field like headless chickens in tag rugby but once we had settled to full contact I played flanker because I enjoyed tackling and trying to win the ball.
"In Glan Cleddau I played for the county junior team with Huw Baker, Ryan Conbeer and Rhys Davies - and I played for Pembrokeshire in a talented under 16 team which reached the semi-final of the Welsh Cup before losing out to Cardiff at The Arms Park pitching adjoining the Principality Stadium.
"But then I started to pick up injuries, including damaged knee tendons and a snapped medial head in my right arm so I've decided to focus on my cricket, at least for the moment!"

Terrific family support

Ask Archie about support he has received in all his sporting activities and he is quick to praise all coaches, past and present, for the voluntary time they have put in with him.
"But above all else I've had amazing support from my family, especially my dad Ian, who played rugby for Haverfordwest and football with Johnston.
My mother Michelle, who is head of Pembroke Dock Junior School, played hockey and cricket and is without doubt the best unpaid taxi driver I've ever met; something I know my sisters Charlie (25) and Millie (20) would also say.

And finally . . .

Back on the cricket front for a moment, Archie is already putting something back in to his sport as he regularly helps with coaching at club level and has become involved with the county, as well as with Fun Cricket Sessions at STP School on Saturday mornings.
So it is a busy time for Archie Thomas and it is easy to see his enjoyment of, and commitment towards, sport so he is going to be a real asset, especially once he completes his BSc Honours Degree in Sport Coaching at the University of South Wales in Pontypridd and hopefully qualifies eventually as a teacher.
He is already a credit to Pembrokeshire Sport and we are confident that whatever he does he will fly the Pembrokeshire Flag with distinction - and we wish him every success in all that he does!