New signing aims to revitalise his playing career
Jack Smith is looking beyond his playing days after starting a second career as an estate agent, but the left-back believes he still has plenty of years left in him yet as a professional footballer.
Having played at a higher level with Watford, Swindon Town and Millwall, Jack has no qualms about dropping down to League 2 with AFC Wimbledon and he hopes the move can reignite a career that stalled a little bit during his latter days at The Den.
Speaking to Rob Cornell during an interview for Dons Player, Jack said: “The last year at Millwall has been pretty miserable for me because I was not playing and I’m itching to play games. Neal Ardley sold the club to me. He told me about money being spent on the training ground and on the pitch. I also know that Wimbledon are looking for a new ground and with the fan base here there is no reason why we cannot build and go up the leagues.
“I was at Millwall for five years and I can remember Wimbledon bringing a lot of fans for an FA Cup tie at our place. It’s a good family club and I'm hoping I can help us push on next season.
“Once you reach the age of 30 in football everybody starts thinking about what they will do when they retire. We bought an estate agents (with brother Tommy) in April and it’s going well. We’ve just bought another shop in Watford, but I’m hopeful that I will have another five or six years in football and then the business will be up and running.”
Jack came through the Watford youth system at the same time as his brother Tommy (now at Cardiff City) and he broke into the first-team at Vicarage Road as a left-back. It’s a position he’s very comfortable in, though his versatility could come in very useful for the Dons.
“When I broke through at Watford left-back was the position that was up for grabs,” added Jack. “But at Swindon I played right-back too and at Millwall I played at centre-back and central midfield. In these days of smaller squads I think versatility can help. Full-backs will often help with attacks, but first and foremost you are a defender and the priority is to keep clean sheets.
“Straight away I’ve been made to feel welcome at the club and that makes it a lot easier to settle in. I know Andy Frampton from Millwall days and it’s nice to have a friendly face who I can speak to. I am raring to go and I want to make up for the past couple of years at Millwall when I’ve not been playing much. I’m just looking forward to the coming season and playing games.”
The full video interview with Jack Smith appeared on Dons Player yesterday, along with an update from Neal Ardley.