Jonte set for national team debut
Hot-shot Jonte Smith could make his senior national team debut against England C on home soil early next month,
The Royal Gazette can reveal.
The Crawley Town striker has trained with the squad since returning home earlier this month following a satisfying 2012-13 campaign in the UK. And it is understood that interim national coach Andrew Bascome is more than keen to have Smith’s valued services in his attack.
“I have made myself available for the friendly match with England C,” Smith confirmed. “But whether or not I’m a part of the squad is up to the powers that be.”
Bascome could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Bermuda will face the visiting England C at the National Sports Centre on June 4 (kick-off at 7:30pm).
Last season saw Smith, 18, make a handful of first team appearances as a sub for the English League One club. 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.
The son of former national cricket captain Clay Smith believes his career is pointing in the right direction.
“I’ve come a long way from the start of last season where I was just coming out of the youth team,” he said. “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.
“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.”
Smith’s steady progress since his arrival at Broadfield Stadium has not gone unnoticed by Red Devils manager Richard Barker.
“He’s come a long way in a short time,” he said.
Smith signed an initial one-year contract with Crawley last year which was extended for another year last March.
Following a prolific goal scoring spell with Met Police the teenage striker made his first team debut as a sub for Crawley Town against Bournemouth last December and went on to make three additional appearances off the bench before being loaned out to Conference South side Eastbourne Borough for the remainder of the season.
While Smith has made himself available for next week’s international friendly the professional striker has ruled himself out of this summer’s NatWest Island Games because of conflicting commitments with his club back in the UK.