At just 19 years of age Alex Smithies has been linked with almost a quarter of the clubs in the Premiership – West Ham, Stoke, Everton and Tottenham have all been said to be interested in the Huddersfield goalkeeper whilst fans of even bigger clubs have eyed him up as a possibility for their futures. Smithies is still so young but the expectations are that he will be a future England goalkeeper despite the fact that he only has League One football to his name so far.
Smithies is from Huddersfield and signed for his local club when he was very young and worked his way through the ranks at the club. Then in 2007 Smithies was given a shock chance in the first team as a seventeen year old as injuries and suspensions to Huddersfield’s first choice and backup goalkeepers left them in need of someone else to step in. Denied an emergency loan signing Huddersfield turned to the teenager who, despite conceding six goals in his first game and a half, didn’t lose confidence in his abilites.
Goalkeeper Matt Glennon was soon restored to first choice goalkeeper but poor form led to caretaker manager Gerry Murphy dropping him in December 2008 in favour of Smithies. The youngster did not disappoint as he quickly began to shine for the club, making remarkable saves and even stopping penalties. He quickly gained a reputation as a top shot stopper and has been first choice custodian at the club since where plaudits have started coming his way after his consistently good performances alerted both Championship and Premiership clubs. Also alerted were England’s youth teams and Smithies has represented England all the way to Under 19 level.
At an imposing 6’3” in height Smithies is capable of flying across his goal acrobatically to keep the ball safe from the net and his command of his area and distribution which helps the club swiftly counter-attack which is reminiscent of Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel. By the time Smithies reaches 21 he will have plenty of first team experience to his name and his development will continue to impress – it will be very interesting to see where the youngster ends up but if his young appearances are anything to go by then he will be a Premiership star of the future.
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