Vital Football

Latest Blackpool FC News

Scout Report: Alex Smithies

Scout Report: Alex Smithies

Yesterday we took a look at former Scunthorpe goalkeeper Joe Murphy as we begin to look at possible transfer targets for the Seasiders this summer.

Whilst the 'Pool undoubtedly need a keeper or two this summer, we concluded that Murphy was not quite good enough to be the number one for a club (hopefully) chasing promotion, so today we take a look at a keeper who might just be the solution: Huddersfield's highly rated young goalkeeper Alex Smithies.

When Ian Holloway was appointed as Blackpool manager, he stated that he wanted to sign young players that he could polish up and develop before selling them on for profit. That wish seems to have got somewhat lost with everything that's happened during Ollie's tenure, but it would be nice if the club did target some younger players again this summer as we look to rebuild our side, and Smithies fits the bill perfectly.

Aged just 21, Smithies has already racked up over 100 appearances for his hometown club (and indeed the club he supports).

He came through Town's academy before making his debut for the club in December 2007 after then first choice keeper Matt Glennon was sent off against Southend.

He then made his full debut for the Terriers just days later against Leeds United due to Glennon's suspension.

It wasn't until the 2007/8 season though and the arrival of Lee Clark as manager that Smithies made the number one jersey his own.

It was during the 2009/10 season though that he really began to catch the attention of other teams with a string of fine displays, keeping seventeen clean sheets along the way.

And despite struggling with a knee injury this season, interest in Smithies is still very high, with a host of Premier League clubs said to be tracking him. Indeed, 'Pool were linked with him during the January transfer window and it is Vital's understanding that Ollie may well have had him watched during the past twelve months.

Smithies has also been recognised internationally as well, possessing four caps for England U16s, ten for the U17s (including five gained during the U17 World Cup), one for the U18s and one for the U19s. Last summer he was also called up for England U21s but is yet to be capped at that level.

Whilst Premier League clubs are monitoring his progress, 'Pool might be amongst the frontrunners to secure his signature this summer should the Terriers decide to cash in on him following their failure in the League One playoffs; we could offer him first team football in the Championship (which would further his development, something that Smithies is said to be very keen on), and we can point to what Ollie has done for Charlie Adam's, David Vaughan's and DJ Campbell's careers (amongst others) as a reason for joining us and taking another step towards playing at the highest level.

Unlike Paul Rachubka and Richard Kingson (who have both been released by the Seasiders already this summer), Smithies knows how to command his area. Indeed, for someone so young, he's remarkably composed and communicates well with the rest of his defence. He's also strong in the air, again something that can't be said for either Rabs or Kingson.

That said, being so young, he is prone to errors, but by all accounts he's a hard working player who puts in the hours on the training ground to improve his game. If the 'Pool were to sign him, we may have to put up with the odd clanger as he develops, but there's no doubt that with continued hard work, and support and encouragement from his coaching staff and supporters that he has the potential to play at the highest level, and if Ollie is looking to return to his policy of signing young(er) players, then Smithies would be a good place to start.

It's difficult to know what kind of fee Huddersfield would ask for him, but there's no doubt that 'Pool would have to shell out a sizeable fee (probably with a next sale clause attached) with him being so highly rated (it's also believed that he has at least two years to run on his current contract). Then again, 'Pool have got money to burn so to speak, and with Huddersfield failing to gain promotion to the Championship this season despite having spent a fair wedge of money, they may just be prepared to cash in on one of their prized assets.

If 'Pool were to make a move for Smithies, it'd be a real statement of intent and would also illustrate that chairman Karl Oyston is prepared to back Ollie in the transfer market, something that is vital this transfer window.

We'll be back with more Scout Reports throughout the summer, but in the meantime you can tell us what you think of Smithies or indeed any other player linked with BFC on our forums - get involved!

Join The Vital Debate



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Eamonn Moore
Date:Monday May 30 2011
Time: 11:04PM

Comments

0
he would be a really good signing if they get him and le fonde i would be happy
blackpool rule
31/05/2011 00:24:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Blackpool Articles

Vital View - League 2, 21st January 2017

Doncaster and Plymouth strengthened their positions in automatic promotion places with wins. Notts County and Newport remain in the relegation places.

Video - Blackpool 2-2 Yeovil

A third draw in the last four was secured by Blackpool when a dramatic added time goal - from the returning Nathan Delfouneso - rescued Pools a point in a 2-2 draw with Yeovil.

Stats: Blackpool v Yeovil Town

All the stats from Blackpool (2) vs (2) Yeovil Town, Bloomfield Road, 21/1/17 Att: 2,885

Blackpool v Yeovil - Team Sheets

Blackpool are at Bloomfield Road with Yeovil the visitors for the latest League 2 game.

Archived Vital Blackpool Articles

Vital Blackpool articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Blackpool
Write For Vital Blackpool
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Yeovil MotM
Suggested By:
Slocombe2%
Mellor0%
Aldred0%
Aimson14%
Robertson0%
Samuel0%
McAlister0%
Pugh0%
Yeates0%
Philliskirk14%
Matt28%
Sub - Delfouneso14%
Sub - Odelusi28%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 27 18 4 5 58 21
2 Plymouth 26 17 3 6 54 15
3 Carlisle 27 12 12 3 48 11
4 Portsmouth 26 13 6 7 45 14
5 Wycombe 26 12 7 7 43 6
6 Luton 26 11 9 6 42 13
7 Colchester 27 11 7 9 40 7
8 Barnet 27 10 10 7 40 0
9 Exeter 26 12 3 11 39 12
10 Cambridge 26 11 6 9 39 7
11 Grimsby 27 11 6 10 39 4
12 Mansfield 27 9 10 8 37 -1
13 Blackpool 26 9 9 8 36 11
14 Crawley 25 10 5 10 35 -7
15 Stevenage 27 10 3 14 33 -6
16 Yeovil 26 8 8 10 32 -3
17 Morecambe 25 9 4 12 31 -11
18 Hartlepool 27 7 9 11 30 -9
19 Crewe 27 6 10 11 28 -13
20 Accrington 26 6 8 12 26 -11
21 Leyton Orient 26 7 4 15 25 -11
22 Cheltenham 26 5 9 12 24 -11
23 Notts County 27 6 5 16 23 -22
24 Newport 26 4 7 15 19 -16
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Blackpool Results (view all)

Blackpool Fixtures (view all)

Jan 28 2017 3:00PM : Plymouth Argyle (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Jan 28 2017 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (a)
FA Cup
Feb 4 2017 3:00PM : Colchester United (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 7 2017 7:45PM : Crawley Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 11 2017 3:00PM : Carlisle United (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 14 2017 7:45PM : Portsmouth (a)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.SeasideEssexXile395
2.premier 1233
3.Layton_Seasider155
4.SaskPool135
5.Bear1951123
6.BobHatton53
7.53CODGER42
8.Hastings39
9.suffolknwot30
10.aussie116
Vital Football Comment