Jonté Smith feels right at home after signing for non-League Woking
Jonté Smith says he “feels at home” after signing for Vanarama National League side Woking yesterday.
The Bermuda striker has agreed to the terms of a deal keeping him at Kingfield Stadium at least until the end of the season.
“I can’t wait to get started at Woking,” Smith told The Royal Gazette. “I had a few offers from the Scottish Premiership, National League, South & North, but ‛Dowse’ [Woking manager Alan Dowson] was clear from the beginning and I feel at home here.”
Dowson has been keen to secure Smith’s signature for some time.
“Jonté was the main one I was going after at the start of the season,” he told In Your Area Sports. “He’s scored for fun in the past.”
A spokesman from Smith’s agent, SRV Sports Group, added: “The club has been keen on getting his signature since he first joined Oxford United [in 2019].
“He is happy to have a manager that backs him and wants the best for him.”
Smith, 26, has been brought in as a replacement for Josh Davison, whose loan spell from Charlton Athletic has expired.
He is now expected to be included in Dowson’s squad for their next fixture, away to league rivals Bromley in the FA Trophy fourth round at Hayes Lane on Tuesday.
Woking and Bromley recorded home wins over Dover Athletic (2-1) and Hemel Hempstead (2-0) respectively in the previous round last month.
Next week’s cup-tie was originally scheduled to be played tomorrow, but was switched after Woking had a positive case of Covid-19 in the camp.
Woking are sitting a comfortable twelfth on 21 points in the National League, one place behind Justin Donawa’s Solihull Moors and two points outside the promotion play-off places.
Smith was released by Sky Bet League Two side Cheltenham Town after his contract expired last June.
He was hurt in the first half of the play-off, semi-final second leg against Northampton Town, who overturned a three-goal, first-leg deficit to advance to the final at Wembley Stadium, where they beat Exeter City.
“The injury hit me a lot when I thought I was ready,” said Smith, who has had previous stints at League Two club Crawley Town and with Kemi Kings in Finland.
“It was the biggest game of the season and also the last game of the season, and also the day before my contract was due to run out.
“It felt like there was a lot going against me in that moment and it turned out to be the biggest blessing. Not being contracted to a club gave me the freedom to come and spend time with my family when we needed it the most with my dad [former St George’s and Bermuda cricketer Clay Smith] getting sick.
“Under normal circumstances in a football club and being contracted, I may have been given a week or two under those circumstances, so I ended up being able to stay for a lot longer.
“Thanks to the PFA, FA, BFA my injury is healed, my dad is doing a lot better, and I am ready to go. Everything has worked out the way that it was supposed to.”
And on his father’s 50th birthday, to boot.