Smith is up for the Cup
Jonté Smith is on a roll.
The Lewes striker has made a prolific start to the season in which he already has netted five goals from seven starts and is showing no signs of letting up any time soon.
“I’m definitely enjoying my football,” Smith told The Royal Gazette. “I have a good team around me and a manager [Darren Freeman] who’s getting the best out of me. Hopefully, the form can continue.”
Smith says he is reaping the benefits from an intense pre-season training regiment.
“I feel that my good form at the start of the season comes from hard work during pre-season,” he added. “Our manager put us through our paces, for sure. My dad [Clay Smith] also spent the summer in England with me, helping my fitness and gym work.
“I feel fit, strong and motivated, and long may that continue!”
Smith has high expectations for his team who are tenth in the Bostik League Premier Division and are among five teams level on nine points.
“Lewes have made a step up this year through promotion and I feel that we’ve recruited very well,” he said. “We have the capabilities to be around the top this year, and that’s what we’re aiming for.
“We’ve gotten some good results against the consistent and long standing teams in this league. We’re improving every week through training and one on one coaching.”
Smith and his team-mates are back in action tomorrow in a FA Cup second qualifying round fixture away to Kings Langley at Gayward Park.
The Bermudian said his team have done their homework on their opponents and feel good about their chances of coming away with the desired result.
“We’ve had them watched by our staff and have a very detailed report on all the players in their team,” Smith said. “We have a game plan and if we execute it well, we can progress to the next round.
“It’s the biggest competition in English football and we want a really good run at it this year.”
Smith was on target for Lewes in their penalty shoot-out win at home to Farnborough in the first qualifying round replay this month.
He opened the scoring in the 37th minute before the visiting side hit back through Connor Calcutt in the 69th minute to send the tie to extra time.
Lewes won the shoot-out 4-1, with Smith scoring from the spot.
He missed the initial tie, a 2-2 draw, because of international duty for Bermuda in the Concacaf Nations League qualifiers.
Smith played in the island’s 3-1 defeat by Aruba in Curaçao, scoring from a goalmouth scramble to make it 2-1.
Bermuda play host to Sint Maarten in their next Nations League qualifier at the National Stadium on October 12.
Smith, who is available for the upcoming match, is confident Bermuda can put the loss against Aruba behind them and get their campaign on track.
“We will bounce back from our defeat against Aruba, the objective now is nine points,” he said.
“The team still have a strong sense of togetherness and we know we have a lot to prove after our recent defeat.
“I know everyone would love us to do that in front of our home support.”
Bermuda are also at home against El Salvador on November 16 before finishing their qualifying campaign with an away tie against Dominican Republic on March 24.
Those games will determine the three divisions for the Nations League, which starts in September 2019, as well as the ten remaining Gold Cup spots.
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