Full-back aims to make up for lost time
Jack Smith says he faces a battle to earn a recall at left-back after the start of his AFC Wimbledon career was curtailed by injury.
The experienced full-back (pictured) started 2014/15 as Neal Ardley’s first-choice on the left side of defence, but Callum Kennedy and 17-year-old Ben Harrison have both performed well during his seven-week absence due to a knee injury.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player after continuing his comeback in a practice match at the training ground, Smith said: “There’s going to be quite a lot of competition. I know Callum from when we were both at Swindon and I knew it would not be a problem for him being in the team. He was quite ill after the Carlisle match and missed a week of training. That meant Ben came in and you would not believe he is only 17. In the home games against Burton and Morecambe I thought he was brilliant.
“It’s up to the manager and we will have to see what he does. If the manager sticks with Ben then I would have no complaints. There are three players for one position and I obviously hope that I’m selected. I came here to play games and that’s what I want to do.”
Smith made an encouraging debut against Shrewsbury on the opening day, including setting up Wimbledon’s first goal of the season for Matt Tubbs, before he was stretchered off in the Capital One Cup at Milton Keynes. Now, the 30-year-old is determined to make up for lost time after putting his injury problems behind him.
“It was good to get back out there today because you have to get used to the intensity of games again,” added Smith. “But I’ve been back in training for two weeks now and I feel fine. It was a good work-out for me and hopefully I can try and be involved on Saturday. Any footballer will tell you that being injured is the worst thing. In my last couple of years at Millwall I did not play many games so it was nice to come here and be first-choice.
“Then the injury happened and I’ve never been out for as long as this. It’s dragged on a bit, but I’m over it now and I want to get a run of games under my belt. It’s been easy to fit in here because the lads and the management are great. When injured you can be on your own a lot, but everyone has been great and I’ve been made to feel a part of it.”
The full interview with Jack Smith appeared on Dons Player yesterday.