HAVANT SNAP UP SMITH
28 year old striker Matt Smith has agreed a deal with Havant and Waterlooville, a two year deal having been signed, with his release from Fulham meaning he was available on a free transfer.
It’s been a remarkable career for the Englishman, having spent a year as a trainee at Cheltenham Town, he was released at the age of 18. That led him onto gaining non-league football experience with New Mills whilst studying at the University of Manchester. Smith made a real impact with his new side too, but as he was due to spend a year studying in America, he left the Millers after one season.
Upon his return to England, he signed for Redditch United in the Conference North and also went on to play for Littleton, Droylsden and Solihull Moors, during his time as a part time player. His goal scoring exploits in these divisions earned him an opportunity in the Football League, Oldham taking the gamble on him, after the completion of his education.
It was a difficult task juggling university work and football, but Matt Smith still managed to strike 32 goals in the 2010/11 season and rightfully won an international call up to the England C squad as well as his eventual switch into league football.
Smith delivered 14 goals for The Latics, but undoubtedly his fondest memories are the two goals he bagged to ensure a 3–2 win over Liverpool in the 4th round of the FA Cup. His form in the magical cup competition continued into the 5th round, Smith scoring against Liverpool's rivals, Everton in the 95th minute to salvage a replay – scoring again in the subsequent 3-1 defeat.
This brought about interest from elsewhere, and soon after Leeds acquired his services, where he hit 13 goals in another single season. His next transfer to Fulham didn’t quite work out though, despite catching the eye in loan spells at Doncaster, Bristol City and Chesterfield, he could only ever make two substitute appearances for The Cottagers.
Smith’s latest chapter in the ever changing story of his career, is a move to The Hawks and manager Lee Bradbury is delighted that the big front man has chosen West Leigh Park as his new destination;
”He’s a top quality forward, and will add another dimension to our team. Matt is a player I would describe as a traditional number nine, with his strength, powerful shot and excellent heading ability. As has been talked about a lot, we needed somebody to replace ‘Bayo’ and we have found the perfect new striker here. It’s not all about Matt’s incredible aerial capabilities either, he’s a proven goalscorer, a hard worker and a determined professional. I’m sure he will fit right in.”
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