By Mark Armstrong
Friday, June 22, 2012
NEW Lowestoft Town signing Lee Smith revealed it was the Trawlerboys’ ambition that convinced him to become the latest player to swap Meadows.
After Danny Cunningham left Ram Meadow for Crown Meadow earlier this month, Smith followed suit this week, prompting Bury Town chairman Russell Ward to question the 24-year-old’s motives for leaving.
Ward suggested Smith’s move had been motivated by money but Smith insisted the major factor behind his decision was the chance to get back into Conference football as soon as possible.
“The Lowestoft opportunity came about this summer and they are a really ambitious club,” he said. “I like challenging myself – a football career is not that long and I want to make the most of it.
“You can stay at one club your whole career or you can challenge yourself and move on. I had a meeting with Flem (Craig Fleming) and the chairman (Gary Keyzor) and their ambition was a key factor. They wanted me, which is a nice feeling and they really want to get into the Conference.”
Smith said it was a tough decision to leave Bury just 12 months after re-joining the club following a stint at former Conference outfit Histon where he made 63 appearances.
The winger will forever be grateful for his time at the club but said the opportunity to move to Lowestoft was too good to refuse.
“I came back to Bury because it’s a club that I really like and I enjoyed playing my football there,” he said. “I just wanted to get back to playing and enjoying my fooball.
“I don’t like upsetting people and hopefully I haven’t. I hope that no-one holds a grudge because I appreciate everything that they did for me.
“It’s just a personal choice of a fresh challenge, which I’m really looking forward to.”
Smith can’t wait for the new season to begin and feels Lowestoft’s style of play perfectly suits his game having seen at first hand the way Town destroyed Bury in the Suffolk Premier Cup final last month.
“I was really impressed by them last season, especially in the final,” he added. “I like the way they play and it suits my game as a winger.
“They get it forward quickly but when it’s in the final third they get it out wide and that’s where I want to be.
“I’m not an out and out winger. In the second half of this season at Bury I got moved to right wing because I had been playing centre midfield as we had a few injuries in there.
“In the second half of the season I got 13 goals in 18 games. That’s my strength I think – I can get goals from wide areas as well as creating goals for other people.
“They only see me as a winger – I’ll have to work hard pre-season and try to impress them with what I can do.”
Lowestoft’s pre-season training starts next Friday although Smith’s days under John Beck at Histon mean he is always prepared for the worst at this time of year.
“It was tough at Bury but I’ve also been a John Beck pre-season, which is lethal so I think I’m pretty prepared for most things,” he said. “I keep myself ticking over, over the summer. It’s not as intense as a pre-season but I do keep myself to a level where I know that I’m not going to be sick at the first training session!”