Never-say-die midfielder thankful for Town support
The midfielder has won the hearts of many a Hatters fan over the past three seasons with his determination and will to win apparent across 100 whole-hearted performances in a Luton shirt.
An FA Cup giantkilling against Norwich and last year’s Conference title success have been the high points. Last season’s leg break was undoubtedly a low – but, as Smith explains, it’s that desire that has helped him through the good times and bad.
“I’ve always been a determined kind of guy,” says Smith. “I’ve always dedicated everything to my job and I knew my dedication would help me get back.
“Maybe I’m that kind of character because I’ve come from the lower leagues and I’ve always had to work hard for what I’ve got.
“I know some players aren’t like that, but I have – and will – do whatever it takes to help this club to rise where it deserves to be.”
Having joined from Swindon in 2012, he made it his mission to help the Hatters win their place back in the Football League.
That was a goal achieved last season, but it was Smith’s double leg break at Barnet on Boxing Day which galvanised the Town, who went onto end their five-year spell in non-league.
And although he admits his character was strong enough to deal with the disappointment, Smith admits that the fans’ and club’s support during his time on the sidelines is something he will never forget.
“Since I’ve been here the supporters have been amazing, I will always be in debt to them,” he tells Hatters Player. “The cards and messages of support after the leg break is something I always think about, even now before games. It helps me push on, I want to win for them and myself.
“I remember my debut at Hereford and thinking, with all the fans there, ‘this club is too big to be where it is’.
“I’m desperate for success in my career and when I’m older I want to look back saying ‘I’ve won this, I’ve done that’, and I want to be able to do that here.”
The Town’s first season back in the Football League ended with an eighth-place finish last weekend, missing out on the Play-Offs by just three points.
But with Smith signed up and raring to go, the midfielder is already looking towards another tilt at promotion next term.
“I want to help get this club as high as I possibly can,” says Smith, who became a father for the first time last month following the birth of baby daughter Alice. “I believe this club is too good for League 2 and it’s important we keep pushing on.
“Hopefully next year, with the right squad in place and the right mentality – which I know we’ll have – we’ll be pushing for that League 1 spot.”