Smith Joins City Development Group
Posted: Wednesday, May 18th 2016
Thursday, May 19th 2016
Jonny Smith declared himself 'overwhelmed' by Bristol City's interest in him after agreeing a two-year contract at Ashton Gate.
The fresh-faced Liverpudlian completed a permanent transfer on Wednesday from Wrexham, where he progressed through the youth setup and made his senior debut last season.
An 18-year-old winger, Smith said it was an easy decision to swap the Conference for the Championship.
“I was absolutely overwhelmed that a massive club like Bristol City was interested in me,” he told Bristol City Player HD.
“It was a no-brainer – it’s a Championship club with Premier League potential, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Initially signed to join up with City’s development group, Smith is already setting his sights on first team opportunities, with head coach Lee Johnson having rewarded youngsters for their progress by handing debuts to Zak Vyner and George Dowling in recent weeks.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Wrexham,” Smith continued. “I’ve played first team football in the Conference and it was great to experience that. I can’t wait to experience first team football in the Championship now!
“The gaffer said I’ll be training with the first team for the first couple of weeks, and I’ll be looking to develop over the next six months to see if I can play for the first team next season – that’s my aim.
“He said ‘if you perform on the training field and show that you’re capable of playing in my team, I’ll give you a chance’. That’s given me the ambition and the drive to try and get in the side.”
Smith comes with a reputation as a prospect who can get bums off seats, and has even been dubbed “Jonny Bale” in Wales for his ability to beat players and shoot with his left foot – much like Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.
“I’m trying to live up to it!” he said of the nickname. “I got given it by Joey Jones (Wrexham youth coach) and it’s lived with me ever since. That’s what the lads call me at Wrexham.
“I’m a winger. My attributes are that I’m quick and I like to get in behind teams. I’m left footed and I play on the right side, so I like to cut inside and have plenty of shots.”
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