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Lee Smith

 
Lee Smith (pic. Tony Hickey)
Smithy in action

Position:

right wing

DoB:
Age:
Birthplace:

8 September 1983
24
Gloucester

 
     
     
 
City Career  
 
Transfer Details: Signed Southern League forms for the first team in February 2001 having impressed in the youth set-up.
City Debut: v Mangotsfield United (a) SL Cup 2nd Round. 8th February '01, Lost 1-0.
City Stats

2000/1: 19(13) Apps, 1 Goal
2001/2: 40(21) Apps, 2 Goals
2002/3: 55(15) Apps, 10 Goals
2003/4: 49(2) Apps, 8 Goals
2004/5: 46(2) Apps, 8 Goals
2007/8: 13(1) Apps, 0 Goals
Totals: 222(54) Apps, 29 Goals

 
Career Club History: Gloucester City, Viney St. Swithins (loan 00/1), Cirencester Town (98(11)-12), Weston-super-Mare Town (3[3]-1), Gloucester City
Honours: Midland Floodlit Youth League Southern Division Championship 00/1, Herefordshire Youth Cup 01/2, SL Western R-up 03/4, City Player of the Year 04/5
     
 

Pen Pic:

 

Lee Smith is a firm fans favourite now in his second spell with the club where he began his career by progessing from the youth team. Smith is a flying winger who has pace in abundance and given any space to run at full-backs he is more than cpable of tearing defences apart and putting in dangerous crosses. Smith started in the City youth team as a striker and still has the happy knack of arriving in the box to get on the end of chances and has snatched more than his fair share of crucial City goals in his early career. Having been courted by a string of good non-league clubs Smith ended up surprisingly spending two seasons with Cirencester Town, and then headed for a short spell with Blue Square South outfit Weston but quickly became disillusioned with a lack of regular starting opportunities. His return to Gloucester City may not come as a huge surprise as he retained close links with the club in his time away, but even so to have a player of his quality return and show willingness to take a considerable wage cut shows some renewed passion for the City cause.

Lee Smith

Smith's emergence was a remarkable turn around for a homegrown player who had emerged from the City youth team as a prolific goalscorer but since making his first team debut as a 17 year-old at first struggled for form and had begun to look hopelessly out of his depth. However boss Chris Burns showed great faith and persisted in fielding him, and finally struck gold when Smith was moved from the front line to the right wing. During 2002/3 his form steadily improved and by the end of that season he was in scintillating form which led to the offer of a two year contract as the club moved quickly to secure a player who was finally showing his true talent. Hard work and an impressive willingness to train and learn helped Lee build up his physical strength and also improve his crossing and control. Over the next few seasons there were occasions where he seemed to win City games single handedly, always being the player who could offer something extra and cause even the best of defences problems by running at them at speed. Lee seemed to have been a fixture in the first team for so long it became easy to forget both how young he still was and also how bad his first season or so in the Southern League had been. He will long be the player cited at Meadow Park when fans are reminded of how long it can take a young player to settle and begin to flourish at a senior level. Former City boss Tommy Callinan gave Lee his debut when he needed reinforcements for a struggling side in February 2001 and Smith stayed in the squad for the next season while still plying his trade in the City youth team. His record in the two sides couldn't be more different, in the under-18s he was prolific and top scored as the side won the MFYL Southern Division. Perhaps suffering under a burden of expectation he struggled to make any impact on the Southern League and rarely found the net despite a hatful of good chances that often let fans tearing their hair out. He often cut a forlorn and painfully light-weight figure who seemed destined to not fulfil his apparent potential.became a firm fan's favourite as much for his determination and commitment as his raw pace and exciting ability to go past players and open up defences.

Smith played an important part in our incredible run to the FA Trophy quarter-finals that saw Conference sides unable to cope with him over four games. His energetic contributions and continued improvement then helped the side to promotion from the Western Division and with the side at times struggling during our first season back in the Southern Premier it was Smith who had matured enough to play an important role in keeping us up with more disciplined performances and some vital goals. Smith always looked more comfortable with the attacking side of his role, but for a player who once looked scared by the physical side of the game he showed a willingness to get stuck in and make some vital tackles. Lee also matured off the pitch and was a popular figure with City fans impressed by his transformation and obvious commitment. His older brother Jamie had also been a bright young talent who went off the rails and lacked the will power to harness his ability, but Lee showed a great attitude to make more of himself. By the end of 2004/5 it was obvious that City were struggling to keep their prize asset as his two-year contract came to an end and he won the supporters' player of the year award with a string of clubs trailing him. Lee's popularity soared as he committed himself to ensuring City's relegation fears were settled before his departure, rejecting a move to title chasing Chippenham on transfer deadline day after the club had reluctantly accepted a £5,000 offer for him. Lee stated he would only leave for a club at a higher level and City made him an offer to make him the highest paid player at the club, so it was something of a disappointment that he finally moved to Southern League rivals Cirencester Town, ironically the club against which Smith scored his first City goals way back in 2001. Rumoured interest from Forest Green, Reading, Ch#*tenham Town and Weston failed to materialise and City were forced to settle for a £5,000 transfer fee set by a tribunal.

Smith's Gloucester roots in Coney Hill and relationship with the fans ensured he got friendly stick rather than bile when playing against us for Ciren, a relationship helped as Smith managed to avoid his best form in games against his old club. There was a certain amount of wry amusement as Ciren failed to maintain there place above City and then only needed a reprieve to avoid relegation from the SLP, but no surprise when Smith moved to Weston to seemingly get a chance to play at a higher level. However Smith couldn't get a regular starting spot in the side and after only a month of the season City fans were delighted by news Smith was to return, sacrifricing a considerable amount in wages to do so.

Lee Smith

is sponsored by Sandra Chase

 

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