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Smith: I could not turn down Welling

New deal: Welling hope Smith's goals can fire their promotion bid (File photograph by Nicola Muirhead)

Welling United have turned to Jonté Smith in their bid to regain their Vanarama National League status.

The Bermuda striker has signed a one-year deal with the club, who were relegated to the Vanarama National South, the sixth-tier of the English game, after finishing bottom of the National League earlier this month.

Welling managed to score just 35 goals in 46 league games this season and hope that Smith, who scored 10 times in 15 games for Lewes after joining the Ryman League club in January, can fire their promotion bid.

“I’m hoping I can continue my scoring form and have a great season with Welling United,” Smith said. “They have a lot of ambition and they want to try to get promoted and push through the leagues.”

Smith and Welling are no strangers to each other, with the striker training with the club last season while playing for Lewes.

After the season ended Smith made no secret of his desire to return to league football next season, and while he may have had that chance, the striker felt signing for Welling was an opportunity not to be missed.

“Obviously waiting a bit longer into the summer I may have gotten a few more offers, but in doing so I may have missed out on this opportunity and I’m glad to have taken this one,” Smith said.

“I’m happy to have signed for Welling and [am] looking forward to next season.”

Smith is the fifth signing that Mark Goldberg, the new Welling manager, has made over the past 72 hours, with Danny Waldren, a midfielder, Mitchell Nelson and Jordan Brown, two defenders, and Oliver Sprague, a winger, all joining the club on Wednesday.

“I’m pleased with our initial signings as we rebuild our squad for the future,” Goldberg said.

Before joining Lewes Smith briefly played for Gloucester City, scoring several times for the National League North club. Smith has also played in Norway and Finland, and is expected to be part of the Bermuda squad playing French Guiana and Dominican Republic in the second round of the Caribbean Cup early next month.

Bermuda play away in French Guiana on June 1, before a quick turnaround sees them host Dominican at the National Sports Centre on June 4.

The Bermuda Football Association announced on Thursday that the game will be played at North Field, because the National Stadium is unavailable.