Smith happy to extend stay at Cheltenham

  • In negotiations: Bermuda forward Jonté Smith is negotiating a new contract at League Two Cheltenham Town

    In negotiations: Bermuda forward Jonté Smith is negotiating a new contract at League Two Cheltenham Town

Jonté Smith has rejoined Cheltenham Town’s squad after a lengthy bout with illness amid ongoing negotiations over a new deal that he has been offered by the Sky Bet League Two side.

The Bermuda forward has been out of action since making a substitute appearance in Cheltenham’s 1-1 home draw against Cambridge United on December 14 after suffering a throat infection.

“It has been a setback which put me out of action for a period of time,” Smith said. “It was a strange one because it wasn’t an injury.”

The 25-year-old is happy to have to overcome his illness and said he is looking forward to forcing his way back into Michael Duff’s squad.

“I’m back fit now from my illness, so I’m looking forward to get back to playing and scoring goals,” Smith added. “I’ve been doing a lot of fitness with the staff at Cheltenham over the last four weeks and been in full training for about a week.”

The son of former Bermuda and St George’s Cup Match captain, Clay Smith, joined Cheltenham in September on a short-term deal, which expired on January 2.

Smith has confirmed that his initial contract has been extended, details of which he is unable to discuss as negotiations are ongoing.

“We are still negotiating and I am happy that I’m negotiating a contract with Cheltenham at the moment,” he said.

“I’m hopeful that we can strike a deal that leaves both parties happy.”

Smith has been with Cheltenham since preseason after being released by League One side Oxford United last May.

He made his debut in Cheltenham’s 4-2 league victory at home to Stevenage last September and scored his first league goal in a 3-0 league win at Mansfield Town last December.

Smith has scored four goals in four starts, including a hat-trick in his first start against West Ham United Under-21 in the Trophy.

He was also chosen by his club’s fans on social media as Cheltenham’s Autovillage Player of the Month for October.

Smith has played for six clubs in three different countries since being released by Crawley Town in 2014. He had two goal-laden years in Scandinavia at Kemi Kings of Finland and Norwegian side Floy before returning to England in 2015 after joining Gloucester City in the Vanarama National League North.

He had non-League spells with Welling United and Lewes, and also made an substitute appearance for Oxford United last season.

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Published Feb 4, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 3, 2020 at 11:32 pm)

Smith happy to extend stay at Cheltenham

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