Bristol City defender Tomas Kalas on how he became Robins’ threat with long throw-ins

Tomas Kalas’ long-throw trait came spontaneously. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)Tomas Kalas’ long-throw trait came spontaneously. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)
Tomas Kalas’ long-throw trait came spontaneously. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Tomas Kalas’ long throw-ins have become a key talking point amongst Bristol City fans

Bristol City have brought a new weapon in their artillery this season, Tomas Kalas' long throw-ins.

Club-record signing Kalas has been with the Robins since 2018, having been at Chelsea but only this season have bared witness to a new attribute to his game.

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For the past few games, the defender has been in the attacking third and causing teams problems with his long-throw. An example was Tyreeq Bakinson's winning goal, which came from Kalas' throw-in, which was flicked on to Chris Martin and then Bakinson scored.

‘I wouldn’t say my throws are specifically long," he said with a modest tone. "They are perhaps longer than the usual ones though. I know Zak can throw it far as well, but if I’m not around he can take over.

"I can’t pinpoint a moment where I or someone else said I was the one who would be on throw-ins. At the moment it is me and Zak who can throw it the furthest without sounding big headed."

Whilst his main duties are defending and keeping clean sheets, it was his fathers influence which may have played a part in his new role.

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His father was the PE teacher at the school that he attended and seeking his advice, he opted to take up a professional career in football, rather than athletics.

Despite prioritising football though, he would still partake in the events that came with athletics, including the likes of javelin and shot-put which Olympic athletes pecialise in.

"My father used to be an athletics coach. I used to do athletics, it was a coin toss between me being a professional athlete or a professional football player until I was 13 or 14. I think it will improve when it comes with more and more throws.

"I started thinking about sticking with football. Overall I was an agile hyperactive kid so we used to go to the athletics centre, I was interested in everything.

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"I was quite fast for my age, I could jump far and high and I could throw things. I wouldn’t say I was different to other kids, maybe having my father with me, giving me tips with training in certain aspects of it may have helped."

Rory Delap was well remembered for his long-throws at Stoke City. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Rory Delap was well remembered for his long-throws at Stoke City. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Rory Delap was well remembered for his long-throws at Stoke City. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Some teams are blessed with a long throw-in specialists, Rory Delap made a name for himself at Stoke City by striking fear into Boaz Myhill to concede a corner rather than his trademark throw-ins. Former Cardiff City and Iceland midfielder Aron Gunnarsson was another, as his throw-in contributed to Iceland's shock EURO 2016 win over England.

Liverpool meanwhile recruited a throw-in coach in Thomas Grønnemark a few years back to add another layer to their world class team's attack

Despite all the resources that have been invested by other clubs and videos available, Kalas simplified his approach to throw-in and says he doesn't research others.

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"Not really. I wouldn’t say it’s rocket science, you just grab a ball and you throw it, it’s about it.

"I would say that it is all about the grip, as long as you can get a good grip and control of the ball, you can throw it further than you think.

"Nobody gets it right always, but the more I’m throwing it the more I am getting used to it. The ball is reaching the distance where it can go, but sometimes it goes shorter and sometimes it’ll go longer.”

Not everyone is a fan of this new found trait however with Luton Town manager Nathan Jones claiming poor sportsmanship in the 1-1 draw back in September.

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Harry Cornick, who has a similar ability wasn't afforded the same opportunity as Kalas to dry the ball with a towel after becoming slippery on the pitch.

Despite this, Kalas' knows of the game plan at home: "We organise those towels for the games at home, it’s much easier than when we’re playing away. Usually the ball is wet, we’re not playing in Spain where the ball would be dry."

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