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Smudger on the Future

By: Richard Lord
Date: 06/01/2002

GRIMSBY TOWN winger David Smith, who has not featured once for the Mariners this season, spoke to the Sports Telegraph of his recent days in the shadows and how he had been left in the reserves to rot.

The former England Under-21 international is now hoping to start afresh under the new leadership of player/manager Paul Groves. "I hoped for a chance under Lennie Lawrence but I could have gone on loan, and I was pretty certain that I could have left permanently if something had come from it. Maybe with Grovesy the slate has been wiped clean and I'm prepared to give it some time. I've always got on really well with him. If I get a chance I have to try and take it."

Smudger's contract is up in the summer and the 33-year old is desperate to earn himself a new deal. "It does get frustrating and I have to get something sorted out. I'd love for that to be here, but if that's not to be I need to make sure I'm fit and playing. I'm not the only person in that situation and we all need to be fit and playing. It's a vital six months for the club and me."

However, the versatile left-sided player revealed that if push came to shove, an offer from elsewhere might be enough to entice him away from Blundell Park after a three and a half year's association with the club.

"I'd love to stay and be part of what Grovesy is going to do because I think, from the time that I've known him over the last four or five years, I know he can do a good job. But if that's not the case then I'll have to look elsewhere. I've got a family and their security is the most important thing for me.

"From the brief chat I've had with him he wants me to be part of things for the moment and I'm happy to go along with that. The loan thing had only just become available before he [Lawrence] got the sack, so now it depends. It's something that might eventually come to pass."

  • Dutch midfielder Menno Willems in a radio interview earlier this week suggested that he may be set to leave the club unless he received assurances from Paul Groves about his future at Blundell Park.

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