Dom on the season and progressing through the Town youth ranks
Dom Smith was delighted to be awarded the Young Player of the Year and the defender was quick to thank people who have helped him along the way:
“Getting young player of the year is a great achievement and I want to thank everyone for that and the backroom staff. It is brilliant because I couldn’t ask for a better team to be at and getting the award is brilliant. I used to play at Lilleshall and then my mum and Nan would take me around. We went around the whole of England. It didn’t matter where it was they took me so I have them to thank as well. I just want to keep proving that I can still do it at this level and don’t want to disappoint anyone. You will never see me with a massive head, I am always humble. I am humble being here and humble playing football so it is nice to keep my feet on the ground. You see what you get with me. I am not flashy or anything and I will never change.”
Smith has been with the club since he was around 8 years of ages and has passed through the different youth ranks through to the first team. During that time his main focus has always been about playing football:
“You see lots of new faces around and a lot of people leave being at a club as long as I have. But growing up as a kid you just focus on playing football, that’s all you want to do. The lads with you have all been through it and being at a club helps you out massively and you can’t ask for better than that. Every season is different but you want to do your best each season. Players and coaches come and go but its brilliant and I am speechless when it comes to it.”
The 20-year-old was delighted to break into the first team after being at the club a decade and he is already setting aims for next season:
“Everything from my debut onwards has been positive. We were losing 2-1 on my debut at half time and we came back to win 4-2 which was amazing for me. It has been the best season so far in my career. I just wanted to do my best and the target was just to give 100% every game and prove to people that I could play League 1 football and at Shrewsbury Town. It is a faster tempo but the guys trained me well and I have coped well with the football here. There are some players like Leon Clarke, I remember playing against him and he is a big brute and a great football player. There are others too that are good and I have felt like some games I have done well against them so that is positive. I have found League 1 really good and I have enjoyed it. I want to be able to play and I like the ball at my feet and I feel like we can do that more here. I want to get used to the league and push Shrewsbury on to better things because we can do much better than we have this season.
The Shrewsbury born player praised the youth set up at the club and is particularly impressed with keeper Callum Burton:
“When Micky gave me my chance I know he would use as much talent from the academy as possible. It just shows how good our youth system is with the likes of Callum Burton and Shaun Rowley too. Ethan Jones as well is a second year scholar and it shows that youth can work for the gaffer. I think they both stepped up and put nerves behind them and got on with the game. Obviously Callum is a great keeper and an International player, he is my best mate too so I have to big him up. We were in the same dorm in the youth team as we were with the other lads too so it is nice to have that bond on the field. Connor and Woodsy came through the same environment and it's good to have that friendship in football.
“I think Callum is going to start pushing up levels now. He wants many many more games and I think he can be a regular in this team. He is nice and calm when playing and is a good shot stopper. He has height as well. You saw on Sunday he is brave coming and punching balls out from corners and he isn’t scared no matter what age he is. I see him all the time and he practices everything and he is improving and you saw that on Sunday.”