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Smith was another of a group of young, London-based players signed under Kevin MacDonald in the summer of 2013, but unlike the others who came via Tottenham, Smith was from West London - a graduate of Fulham’s academy, released after 11 years at the club. He arrive with league experience, even a few precious Premier minutes and what is more, he’d turned down European sides to join Town.
However, Smith admitted in an interview with the Adver that while playing abroad tempted him, he wanted to stay closer to home: “They were good standard leagues, not top standard but still good, and they would have been good for me, but I preferred to come here [Swindon] and I think it was the right decision for me.”
In Fulham’s reserves, and while on loan at Stevenage and Orient, he had played in a variety of roles: “I started at left back and then moved into midfield, and have also played out wide as well, so I can play in a number of positions.” But when he made his Swindon debut, in the very first game of the season away at Peterborough, it was as an attacking left back. After that defeat, he dropped to the bench, and behind Nathan Byrne in the pecking order for league games. When Smith’s second start came a few weeks later in a League Cup defeat by QPR it was to be his last for a long time.
A knee injury in that match led to an operation, an operation lead to a long recovery, and that long recovery led finally back to a place on the bench. But instead of that return being “into the new year” as then-caretaker manager Mark Cooper predicted, it wasn’t until March that Smith was again fully recovered.
With fitness returning, Cooper, who had admitted that he expected to release Smith at the end of the season had a change of heart - and formation. First his manager praised Smith to the local press: “He can run, he’s energetic and he can score goals as well”, then put him back in the starting line up once more.
With Jay McEveley dropping into the new back three, Smith was used in five consecutive games, largely as a wing-back. His run started as a sub in a draw at Ashton Gate, peaked with a start in a win away at Tranmere - with Smith even opened the scoring with a rasping drive - and ended as March opened away at Carlisle.
However, it was to prove another false dawn, Smith was out of the team again as young loanee Jack Stephens made his name and McEveley reclaimed the full back position.
Finally, along with McEveley - the man he had been signed to replace - Smith was quietly released at the end of the season 2013/14.
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