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Smith joins Finnish leaders

Jonte Smith, the Crawley Town striker, has ventured further north to Scandinavia to broaden his football horizons.

The Bermuda player has joined Finnish side PS Kemi Kings, who are the Kakkonen League leaders, until the end of the season.

It remains unclear, however, whether Smith has joined the club on loan from Crawley or with a view to a permanent deal.

Smith, who has several weeks remaining on his contract at Crawley, suggested on social media yesterday that his days at the Sky Bet League One club may be over.

“Thanks to Crawley and the fans for everything,” he tweeted.

The Royal Gazette were unable to contact Smith yesterday but Antti Pasanen, the chairman of PS Kemi Kings, confirmed that Smith was due to join his club.

“Jonte will arrive today [yesterday] to play for PS Kemi Kings at least this season,” he wrote in an e-mail.

When contacted yesterday, a Crawley Town spokesman said the club were still awaiting confirmation of Smith's registration and were in the process of putting together a press release announcing the player's move to the Finnish side.

Smith signed a one-year deal with Crawley in April 2012 after a prolific season with the club's under-18 side, which was extended for another 12 months in March 2013.

The 19-year-old was loaned out by Crawley three times this season, having had stints with non-league clubs Havant & Waterlooville, Metropolitan Police and Gosport Borough.

After recovering from an ankle injury he sustained playing for Crawley in a pre-season friendly against Sky Bet Championship side Millwall, Smith embarked on a two-month loan spell with Havant & Waterlooville in September, where he failed to nail down a regular starting berth.

The former North Village youth team player continued his recovery during a month-long loan stint at Metropolitan Police before being recalled by Ritchie Barker, the former Crawley manager, who was sacked in November 2013.

Yet despite featuring regularly on the substitutes' bench, Smith had not been used by Barker's successor, John Gregory, who took over managerial duties shortly after Smith's return to the Checkatrade.com Stadium. Smith underlined his potential during a loan stint with Ryman League side Metropolitan Police during the 2012/13 season, scoring 24 goals in 19 appearances that included two hat-tricks.

That impressive return earned Smith promotion to Crawley's first-team squad, who he made his debut for as a substitute in a 3-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth in December 2012.

It was one of four appearances Smith made coming off the bench during the season before being loaned to non-league side Eastbourne Borough.

n Nahki Wells's goal drought continued yesterday as Huddersfield Town drew 0-0 away to bottom side Charlton Athletic.

Wells, who joined Town for a record fee during the January transfer window, was denied three times before being substituted in the 74th minute.

The 23-year-old striker netted in his first two outings for Town but has not scored since hitting the target in his team's 2-1 defeat to Queen's Park Rangers at Loftus Road on January 18.

On the move: Smith has signed for PS Kemi Kings on loan

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Published March 13, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 13, 2014 at 12:32 am)

Smith joins Finnish leaders

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