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Jonte not available for Island Games

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Sharp shooter Jonte Smith has been ruled out of Bermuda’s upcoming NatWest Island Games.

The Crawley Town striker is unavailable to suit up for the senior national team because of conflicting commitments with his League One club back in the UK.

“I won’t be involved with the Island Games because I am due to return (to the UK) June 17 for preseason training that kicks in on June 26,” Smith told

The Royal Gazette. “Right now I’m only 18 and feel like I have a lot of years to play for Bermuda. At the same time I really need to focus on getting my career started because truthfully I’m not exactly stabilised yet and need to make sure I have a solid place in professional football before I start playing football elsewhere for my country.”

Smith is currently back home following a satisfying season in the UK which saw him make a handful of first team appearances as a sub for the Red Devils. He also banged in 24 goals, including two hat-tricks, in 19 appearances during a prolific loan spell at Ryman Premier League side Metropolitan Police.

“I feel like I’ve made a big step up in my overall game play that I’ve been able to get a few appearances with Crawley and score some goals while I have been out on loan,” he said. “I’ve come a long way from the start of last season where I was just coming out of the youth team.

“I’m definitely happy with my season but there’s always room for improvement and I’m just looking to go into next season bigger, stronger, faster and fitter.”

To keep himself in good physical shape during the off season Smith has been pumping iron at The Athletic Club who have again shown their support by sponsoring the professional footballer.

“Jonte Smith is a young Bermudian that is currently making a name for himself in England as a professional footballer,” said Athletic Club owner Kym Herron -Scott. “The Athletic Club just wants to show our support in sponsoring Jonte to train at the facility at the Athletic Club so he can develop his muscle tone, strength and fitness so that he can continue with his upward mobility at Crawley Town.”

Smith added: “I’m just trying to keep myself fit going to the gym at The Athletic Club regularly. You want to keep yourself reasonably fit so when you go back to preseason training. It’s not about trying to get your lungs back or trying to get your fitness fully back. You want to have a decent base before you go back into preseason training.”

As for being reunited with family and friends back home, Smith said: “It’s always good to be back. It’s a beautiful island and the sun has been out for the majority of the time so it’s been good. It’s definitely a lot more humid here than in the UK.”

Smith signed an initial one-year contract with Crawley last year which was extended for another year last March.

He made his first team debut as a sub for Crawley Town against Bournemouth last December and went on to make three additional appearances all off the bench before being loaned out to Conference South side Eastbourne Borough for the remainder of the season.

Jonte Smith, Crawley Town.(Photo by Akil Simmons)
Jonte Smith, Crawley Town.(Photo by Akil Simmons)
Jonte Smith, Crawley Town.(Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published May 11, 2013 at 10:09 am (Updated May 11, 2013 at 10:08 am)

Jonte not available for Island Games

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