21-year old former Ilkeston Town striker Amari Morgan-Smith plays in Carlisle's reserve team friendly at Stockport today

Morgan-Smith
The Wolverhampton-born striker started off his career at any form of Football League level on the Crewe Alexandra youth scheme before being released at the end of his YTS contract in the summer of 2007. Morgan-Smith then signing for Stockport on a 12-month deal in the August of that year through slightly unconventional means.

The 6'0 frontman being one of two players, the other being versatile defender Craig Flowers, who were the duo signed at the Just Search for a County star that was run in conjunction with then Stockport sponsors Just Search Internet Marketing. The pair winning their deals after 150 hopefuls spent time at County's Manor Farm training ground in an effort to earn a professional contract.

In his one season at Edgeley Park, in 2007-08, Morgan-Smith only made one substitute appearance though, in a final day of the regular campaign 1-0 home success over Brentford, before, along with Flowers, being released by then Hatters boss Jim Gannon at the end of County's League Two play-off winning campaign.

Amari then moved back closer to his Midlands home by signing for Conference North outfit Ilkeston Town in the summer of the 2008. In his time with the Robins Morgan-Smith, over two and a bit seasons, scored 37 goals (nine of them penalties) in 80 starts and 29 substitute appearances at "sixth tier" level. The 21-year old also winning an international cap for the England C team in May of this year in a 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in Waterford.

Back in this country, Morgan-Smith's last game for the New Manor Ground club came in their local derby at home to Eastwood Town on the 4th September. As the Robins were then wound up at the High Court four days later over a 47,000 debt to HMRC, with the club's overall debts reputed to stand at around the 200,000 mark. Part of Ilkeston's unsuccessful appeal to the courts being that they were ready to sell a 'star player', thought to be Morgan-Smith, to a Football League club for 20,000.

Blue Square Bet Premier side Luton Town had also bid 15,000 for the player as Town began to hit the financial rocks but Ilkeston chairman Gary Hodder rejected the bid for a player who had signed a new contract in the summer and also spent time at Derby County on trial this pre-season. Morgan-Smith featuring for the Rams in friendly matches against Burton, Southend and Bournemouth.

Derby cooling their interest in the 21-year old though has paved the way clear for Carlisle to step in, with Nottingham Forest apparently nosing around the player, and take the striker in for their own trial period. Morgan-Smith featuring in United's behind closed doors reserve team friendly game away to Stockport this afternoon, playing alongside established professionals such as assistant manager Graham Kavanagh, Peter Murphy, Jason Price and Tony Kane.