Date: 17th May 2008 at 5:25pm
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Bees Striker off to Stevenage

25 year old Barnet forward Anthony Thomas has today signed for Stevenage after the Bees decided not to take up the year’s option remaining on his contract.

Thomas was signed from Hemel Hempstead last May after a tremendous performance against Barnet in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup Final which capped off a remarkable 2 years in which he had scored 77 goals in the Southern League Premier Division.

However, despite a literally netbusting free kick live on Sky against Dagenham early in the season, he struggled with the step up and was loaned out to Cambridge City amid whisperings about his attitude.

When he returned to Underhill, he struggled to break back into the side until the middle of March, when he showed signs of coming to grips with League 2, scoring 3 more goals including an overhead kick against Wrexham. His final scoring record for Barnet was 4 league goals in 14 starts and 12 substitue appearances.

The reaction of the fans to his departure has been mixed – some felt he was beginning to fulfil the promise that his Hemel record offered, while others felt he lacked the footballing intelligence to handle the professional game.

As a result of this departure, the club have re-affirmed its desire to bring in a striker capable of scoring 20 goals a season. Names mentioned in dispatches have been former Ipswich front man Dean Bowditch, who once kept Darren Bent out of the Ipswich side, as well as Harrow Borough youngster Jonathan Constant.

Paul Fairclough announced that this was the last of the players who would be released by choice although Adam Birchall and Nicky Nicolau have yet to agree new contracts.

News on this is expected in the next couple of weeks, with Birchall the more likely of the pair to remain – particularly since any club looking to sign him would have to pay compensation due to him being under 24 years of age.