BALL SKILLS: Thomas Carroll cannot split his love for basketball and football.
BALL SKILLS: Thomas Carroll cannot split his love for basketball and football. Keagan Elder

Carroll struggling to juggle his dribbling

THOMAS Carroll is finding it hard to juggle his sporting commitments.

The 36 year-old recently won the Kingaroy Basketball Association's A-grade title with Thunder, culminating in a successful sporting season that saw his Wests football side bow out in a 1-0 elimination final loss to rivals Gunners.

The two-sport talent first started playing football as a youngster, before adding the basketball string to his bow in high school.

"I was eight years old when Mum and Dad wanted to get me into a team sport, so football was it," Carroll said.

"I wasn't going to be playing rugby league - Mum made sure that was the case. I made my first rep team when I was 12 and I haven't stopped playing football since.

"I started basketball in grade eight when the NBA was becoming a big thing in Australia and it was the cool game to play."

Carroll credits Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan as a big reason for his early interest in the sport.

"I started just after Michael Jordan retired, and I was upset that I couldn't watch him play," he said.

"I've been a big fan of Dwayne Wade, but it's great now he's back in (Chicago). I've always had a soft spot for the Bulls."

Between work and football commitments, Carroll is finding it hard to keep his sporting affairs in order and knows he has to make a decision for next season.

"I got back into it about eight years ago, but I think I might have played my last competitive game. I'm fast running out of time," he said.

Those commitments include volunteering with junior football at the Kingaroy Soccer Club and refereeing National Premier League fixtures.

But it is supporting his children's sporting pursuits that Carroll is most focused on. 15 year-old Chelsea plays for the senior Wests Womens side while Cody, 13, is an NPL player with the South-West Queensland Thunder, and Carroll could not be more proud.

"I'd like to think they've acquired their taste and passion for football from me - they're both passionate (Brisbane) Roar supporters as well," Carroll said.

"I think all teenage boys would love the opportunity to go as far as they can with their football, and (Cody) is no different.

"Chelsea loves watching the girls run around in the W-League, I think she would love to go further with hers too."

There is no question the Carroll family are a talented footballing bunch, but you can question why a Manchester United fan chose to name his daughter after a Premier League rival.

"It honestly didn't even cross my mind until people started pointing it out years later," Carroll said.

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