No doubting Thomas ahead of Mariners

Young Melbourne victory keeper Lawrence Thomas admits the prospect of his second Hyundai A-League game against the Central Coast Mariners is probably more daunting than his now famous debut in last week's 2-2 draw with Brisbane.

Young Melbourne victory keeper Lawrence Thomas admits the prospect of his second Hyundai A-League game against the Central Coast Mariners is probably more daunting than his now famous debut in last week's 2-2 draw with Brisbane.

Thomas went from a virtual unknown to the youngster on everyone's lips in the space of 89 hectic minutes on Saturday night, producing a string of late saves to preserve the scoreline despite Melbourne going down to nine men for much of the final hour of the game.

The well-travelled 19-year-old said he didn't have time to feel nerves after being thrust into the spotlight following Ante Covic's first-minute send off.

"As soon as I saw the foul, I thought to myself I'm on pretty much straight away," he said.

"I didn't really think about it too much at all, I just got up and got my gloves on and did a few volleys and I was fairly clear in my mind."

"I wasn't thinking too much about the game, because it happened so quickly. I think that worked in my favour. I didn't think about anything, I was on and out there," he said.

"I felt sort of numb. I didn't feel shaky or anything."

Melbourne Victory coach Mehmet Durakovic described Thomas' performances as in a 'different class' after the game and said he has full confidence the teenager could do the job against the Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium.

Thomas' introduction to the Hyundai A-League was in strikingly similar circumstances to those in which Mitch Langerak got his chance with Melbourne in a match against the Mariners in September 2008.

In that match, Michael Theoklitos got his marching orders just before the hour and 20-year-old Langerak came on in a match which ended 2-2 thanks to two goals from Archie Thompson. The youngster earned praise from everyone for his assured performance, including his opposition goalkeeper that day, Mark Bosnich.

It was the start of an amazing journey for Langerak who less than two years later found himself in the Bundesliga.

Thomas said the track record of Victory goalkeeping coach Steve Mautone for producing quality stoppers like Langerak, Theoklitos and Eugene Galekovic, was one of the main reasons he chose to come to the club at the start of the season.

"That of course played a big part and when I came in and saw the facilities her and it's a great set-up. It's great working with Steve. I'm feeling great to be here," he said.

However, he admits that having the week to think about another game does make it a much harder preparation than he had for his debut.

"I love being out there but this week will be a bit different for me because obviously on the weekend I had no time to think I was on," he said.

"But I'm alright. I am feeling very confident about this game. I'm just looking forward to it. I feel I can play at this level and I'm just looking forward to getting another opportunity."