Smith hopeful on Cheltenham deal

  • Jonte Smith wins a header against Burnely Under-23

Photograph by GloucestershireLive

    Jonte Smith wins a header against Burnely Under-23 Photograph by GloucestershireLive

Jonté Smith is remaining hopeful of earning a permanent deal with Sky Bet League Two side Cheltenham Town.

Having left Sky Bet League One outfit Oxford United at the end of last season, following a short spell with the club, the Bermuda striker has been on trial with Cheltenham over the past week and featured in a 3-2 friendly defeat against a Burnley Under-23 side at the beginning of this month.

Smith, who also spent a period in League football earlier in his career with Crawley Town, is hopeful of doing enough to earn a contract with Michael Duff’s team.

“As things stand, we are trying to get something over the line and hopefully we can,” said Smith speaking to Gloucestershire Live.

“I would like to sign because I do feel comfortable here, having lived here before.

“I like the manager and his style of play, the dressing room he has built and the way he runs things.

“I can see myself being happy here and doing well here. There are other clubs interested, including a club in Germany. There are other options in England we haven’t explored yet.”

On his first outing with the club the 25-year-old feels he acquitted himself well, while conceding his disappointment at seeing a scheduled friendly against Bromsgrove Sporting on Tuesday called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

“I felt like it was beneficial for me to start off on the bench so I was able to see what the manager Michael Duff was looking for,” he added.

“It gave me an idea of what he expected from his strikers and when I got on the pitch I felt like I displayed that well.

“We wanted to win the game, but it’s preseason and the result isn’t as important as the minutes and working on tactics.

“I feel I put in a decent performance. I was more looking forward to playing in the game on Tuesday when I was likely to start and could give more of an impression to the manager.

“I’ve enjoyed it. It’s a really good group of lads and I feel like they’ve accepted me quite quickly.

“The manager has made sure he has a good dressing room and hopefully I fit into that too.”

Despite enduring mixed fortunes at both Crawley Town and Oxford United, Smith is still confident in his ability and spoke of learning from his previous experience at a higher level.

“The way I look at it is, the goal doesn’t move and if I am given one or two chances in a game, I will score goals,” he said. “Whenever I’ve played regularly I’ve scored goals and I feel like I can do that here as well, given a chance.

“When I am playing regularly and feeling comfortable, you tend to get the best out of me. I want to be settled somewhere, playing games and scoring goals. Cheltenham would be a good place to do that.

“Just being in that professional environment was a change.

“In Bermuda, we don’t have the level of coaching, the equipment or the resources clubs have here, to go on scouting trips and video analysis of opposition teams.

“It was a good learning opportunity to see what it’s like to be a part of games at this level, working with quality players.

“Crawley had back to back promotions so to witness that moving from the youth team to the first team was amazing to see.”

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Published Aug 5, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 5, 2019 at 12:15 am)

Smith hopeful on Cheltenham deal

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