Shotley striker tipped for bright future
By Derek Davis
30th Apr 2022 | Football
A free scoring striker from Shotley has been tipped to succeed at a high flying non-league side, if he can rise to the challenge.
Tommy Smith, who scored in the Shotley Rose cup final and twice in the semis, has also regularly been on the mark for Felixstowe & Walton's United's Under 18s and caught the eye of first team manager Stuart Boardley.
The Seasiders reached the Isthmian League North play-offs but lost out to Canvey Island, who went on to win promotion, and are among the favourites to challenge agains next season.
Smith was close to being involved in Felixstowe first team's last league game of the regular season against Coggeshall, which they won 3-0.
That was the day before last Sunday's League Cup final for Shotley Rose against AFC Claydon, where Smith scored and won the penalty for Ben Grogran to tuck away.
The experienced non-league manager and former professional footballer with Torquay United, and Ipswich Town academy player, Boardley has picked Smith out to kick on and do well at semi-professional level but with a caveat.
Boardley said: "Tommy has a few bits he need to work on in terms of attitude and his commitment to training, but he is certainly a lad with talent who we have been looking at closely.
"Hopefully next season he will really knuckle down and get himself involved with the first team. it is there for him."
Seasiders' first team coaching staff have watched him playing for Shotley Rose, Felixstowe U18s (where he hit hat-tricks in successive games last November,)and other games and Boardley emphasised how important game time has been for the former Shotley primary and Holbrook academy youngster, who now works in the building trade.
Boardley added: "It is important for him to be playing and sitting on the bench against Coggeshall for example may not have been the best thing for him at this stage."