Smith Makes It Eighteen With United

Last updated : 20 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror
Grant Smith at HJK Helsinki
Some would question the logic behind the Blues adding another central midfielder to their ranks but boss John Ward has suggested that the Cumbrians need to add some experience in that area as far as squad depth is concerned. Smith now linking up with Carlisle on a permanent deal to the end of this season having been training with the club since before Christmas.

To say the 27-year old is well travelled would be an understatement with the Cumbrians now becoming the 18th club he has featured for in one way or another in his career. The full list, and I'm stuffed if I'm explaining when he has been at each one, being : Brighton & Hove Albion, Wycombe Wanderers, Reading, Hearts, Livingston, Clydebank, Sheffield United, Halifax Town, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town, Bristol City, Cheltenham Town, Walsall, Dundee United, Hibernian, HJK Helsinki, Klubi-04, Carlisle United.

So we'll start at the start and end at the end and miss out the somewhat lengthy section in the middle. The son of ex-Brighton player and Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith, Grant started his career with the Albion's youth scheme before being released in the summer of 1997, that then starting the rollercoaster of clubs that finished with the Irvine-born midfielder leaving HJK Helsinki in Finland after the end of their season in November 2007.

Smith has been at Brunton Park since early December after asking Blues boss John Ward if he could train at the club as an out-of-contract free agent, and as he recovers from a wrist operation. Ward and Smith knowing each other from the time when the 27-year old was at Bristol City and Swindon and Ward was the manager of Cheltenham, Smith actually being on trial at Whaddon Road at one stage on his release from Bristol City.

Whether we actually need a 27-year old central midfielder with 18 clubs behind him already is certainly open to question. Still, like every player that comes into the club, you have to trust the judgement of the manager to start with, although personally speaking, I'll be very surprised if Smith turns out to be a useful addition to the salary-capped wage bill with far more pressing positions to be filled on the right wing and upfront.

First Team Transfers 2007-08 : Click here