MICHAEL Smith has come to Swindon Town to further his career rather than get rich, according to his new manager Mark Cooper.
Smith signed a two and a half-year contract with the Robins this week after owner Lee Power paid Charlton Athletic an initial £100,000 for his services and he is expected to go straight into the Town squad to face Shrewsbury tomorrow.
The 22-year-old was courted by nine other Football League clubs, including Southend, Burton, Bury and MK Dons, but picked Swindon, where he will be working with the man who gave him his first taste of senior football - Cooper managed Smith at Darlington four years ago.
Like many of Town’s signings over the course of the past eight months, Cooper stressed that Smith would not have chosen Swindon had be been simply interested in money.
“With the way the club was being left, what we’re trying to do is bring in players who are young, who want to be at the football club not because they’re going to get rich but because they know they’ve got a chance of furthering their career and learning and playing,” Cooper told the Advertiser.
“It’s a good environment for them to be in, especially at home. The younger players do want to come here, gone are the days where we get the players that are maybe coming for one last payday.
“Whether he wanted to come and see a familiar face to work with I don’t know. All I know is if he feels this is the best place for him to play somewhere where he knows that, if he’s fit, he’s got an awfully good chance of playing in a team that will probably create him a lot of chances.
“I think that’s an important factor for a forward. If you go to a team who play in a negative style and you don’t get a lot of chances it might not be the best thing for you but I think coming here he knows he will get quite a few chances.”