Claisse wants third spell at “best club” Whitby Town

Tom Claisse scores in a previous spell at Whitby Town'picture: Brian Murfield
Tom Claisse scores in a previous spell at Whitby Town'picture: Brian Murfield

FORMER Whitby Town midfielder Tom Claisse has admitted this week he wants a third spell at the club he rates as the best he’s ever played for.

Now serving in the RAF, as an air-traffic controller, Claisse (24) was originally signed in April 2006 by then-manager Dave Logan, on his release from Bradford City.

Twelve months later, he’d made 36 appearances, scoring twice, before being discarded by player-boss Lee Nogan, only to be recalled by Nogan’s successor Graeme Clark within two months and finished the 2007/08 season with double the goal tally and 34 more games under his belt.

Claisse left for a second time in summer 2008 and told the Whitby Gazette: “I went to Bradford Park Avenue and Farsley Celtic in the Conference North and now I’ve decided to go down a different career route.

“I’m now in the RAF and I’m absolutely loving it.

“All being well, next month I’m flying to Cyprus for a week playing football.”

Claisse, soon to be stationed at Linton On Ouse, near York, is hoping to help the Air Force to a fifth successive inter-service tournament against the Army and Navy and isn’t the only ex-pro in the RAF ranks.

“Lee Crooks, who played at Manchester City plays - I used to clean his boots at Bradford City and a lot of the lads play Conference South and Southern League.

“I was surprised by how good the standard was.”

However, Claisse, who’s also turned out at Portsmouth’s Fratton Park and Shrewsbury’s New Meadow Stadium in forces games, has kept an eye on Town’s progress ever since departing.

When asked if he’d fancy another go, the fan-favourite, who’s even turned out for Whitby’s Supporters’ team, stated: “It’d be nice, it’d be really nice - the God’s honest truth is that I’d really love to come back.

“I’m not saying I could make a difference, but I want to try to make the difference, to try and stay in this league, because Whitby’s probably been the best club I’ve been to, overall.

“How nice the fans are, how the nice the people are, the chairman, everyone about the club - it’s just an amazing club.”