Gloucester Rugby: Martyn Thomas wants Nigel Davies to see him in new light
MARTYN Thomas admits this season is all about making Nigel Davies change his mind.
The 26-year-old full-back candidly concedes he had to fight for his Kingsholm future throughout his first year with the Cherry and Whites last season.
Thomas managed to convince rugby director Davies to take him on for a second Gloucester campaign.
But the former Llanelli Scarlets and Newport Dragons paceman knows that minor triumph is just the start.
Traditional Shave, Facial Treatment, Whisky and a Shoe Shine -...View details
Gents, enjoy a traditional shave, facial treatment, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £31
Terms: Early and later appointments available upon request.
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
Injury blighted Thomas' Gloucester tenure even before he had chance to stalk the Kingsholm turf in anger.
The Sports Development graduate cut his foot on a sea shell during pre-season training on the beach in west Wales last summer.
Several other niggles followed, and Thomas could see early chances to assert his Premiership authority passing by.
Cornish Pirates recruit Rob Cook stole a 15-shirt march, growing into the role by offering a bedrock of solidity, before inching along the attacking scale.
Thomas almost tried too hard at times last term, perhaps acutely aware of the selection ground he had to jump, seeking that killer break.
Now his second Gloucester campaign is drawing in, Thomas admits his biggest challenge is to win boss Davies over and leave him with no option but to retain him at Kingsholm for the long haul.
The Carmarthen-born counter-attacker explained: "It wasn't immediate for me, securing a new deal.
"But there were always talks with the club, all through the process.
"I was always really happy to stay, so it was fantastic to get everything tied up.
"It's a new season now, that brings a fresh start, and in that situation anything can happen.
"I've had a really good pre-season and pushed forward both on and off the field.
"It's about staying injury-free and getting some game time now.
"I was a little bit unfortunate with injury at the start of last season, and I didn't make the impact I wanted to at the club.
"So I'm hoping to put that right this season.
"It all starts with these pre-season games, taking chances now when they arise.
"It's all down to me now. The challenge is to change Nigel's perception of me from last season really."
It was Bryan Redpath who recruited Thomas for the Cherry and Whites.
Pitching up to find an entirely different boss and coaching team at the Kingsholm helm would disconcert the most relaxed of minds.
So perhaps Thomas felt he was always on a proving ground when falling under the first auspices of the Davies regime.
Olly Morgan's long-term knee injury problems left Davies with little choice to recruit further full-back cover.
And former Lincolnshire cricketer Cook excelled in his first taste of the top-flight.
Thomas remains confident he has what it takes to succeed at Gloucester though, and is determined to prove his point.
He added: "I didn't leave Wales just to go somewhere for one year and then move on.
"It was a pretty big decision to take a chance in the Premiership, because I could have stayed in Wales.
"And it was fantastic to be given an opportunity at such a great club as Gloucester.
"To have further chance to prove my worth is a big thing, and I'm not going to waste it."