ON-LOAN Swindon Town defender Chris Smith is enjoying his temporary return to non-league football with Supermarine, but still hopes to make it in the professional game.
The Samsung Win a Pro Contract winner made his Town debut on the final day of last season away at Bradford, having been plucked from non-league Stone Dominoes in Staffordshire, but despite putting in a good display has failed to feature in Paolo Di Canio’s side this term.
His lack of action led to a loan spell at the Webbs Wood Stadium, and while the fact his contract with Town expires at the start of March is on his mind, the defender is just enjoying playing football.
“It has been good and all the lads are down to earth and good guys, and to be honest this is the level I am used to, with everyone working hard during the week and playing at the weekend,” he said.
“It has been a good chance for me to get some games, which is something I have missed out on, and there is nothing which can replace playing competitive matches.
“There is a bit of pressure on me to perform because of where I am on loan from, but I have played at this level before and done a job at the same time, and I know what it is all about.
“I think I have done alright, although there are still some areas that I want to improve on, and I will continue to work at that.
“I have been given a great chance to be with Swindon Town, and I would still really like to make it there, and hopefully this loan spell will help.
“I am trying to be relaxed about it, and at the moment I am just enjoying playing matches.
“Swindon Supermarine train usually on a Tuesday and a Thursday, with the matches on a Saturday, so I train with them when they go out and then the rest of the time I am with Swindon Town.
“So I am getting the best of both really, training with professional players and then also getting a good game at the weekend.”
Marine host Winchester tomorrow in Division One South & West, but Smith is not concerned by knowing very little about the teams he faces each week.
“Playing at this level, the teams change drastically every year anyway, so that is not a problem for me, and I get on with it,” he said.
“We have done pretty well and I think we have only lost one in six, and we deserve it too because from what I have seen we have been the best footballing side in the league so far.
“We like to get the ball down and that is good, and it is all a big bonus for us and all the players.”
Smith will return after missing the midweek win over Yate.
Dave Bampton should also be back in the side but Rob Dean misses out again with an ankle injury.
Elsewhere in Division One South & West, Cirencester host Tiverton, while in the Premier Division, Chippenham entertain Bedworth.