ALEX Smith turned down the exciting prospect of plying his trade in Europe to join Swindon, but believes staying in England and his move to the County Ground is exactly what he needs to start his senior career.

The 21-year-old penned a one year deal with an option for a second last week following his release by Fulham, and received a number of offers - including a handful from European clubs - before moving to Wiltshire.

Smith didn’t reveal the identities of the clubs on the continent, but believes staying in England is the safer bet and will allow himself to stake a claim for regular football for the first time in his career.

“I had a few options on the table, including some in Europe too, but staying in England was a big plus for me,” he said.

“They were good standard leagues, not top standard but still good, and they would have been good for me, but I preferred to come here and I think it was the right decision for me.

“It could have been very interesting and pretty exciting for me to go and try somewhere new, but at the same time it could have been scary moving awaynbecause moving to another country is a big challenge.

“I will base myself in Swindon and will look for somewhere to stay where I am comfortable, and the family will come down and stay with me sometimes so that will be good.

“I’m fine with the move, and I can’t wait to get started.”

The versatile youngster is capable of playing at left-back as well as in midfield, and although he isn’t yet sure which is his best position he is looking forward to finding out.

“I need first-team football because I have been in the reserves quite a long time, and I need games under my belt which I hope will improve me as a player,” he said.

“This was a move I needed to make, and there was great quality in the training sessions, so I need to get my head down and work hard.

“I am a very energetic and like to get on the ball and make things happen, and I give my all for the team.

“When I was at Fulham I started at left back and then moved into midfield, and have also played out wide as well, so I can play in a number or positions.

“I’m not sure which is my best position, but we will see what happens.

“Personally I think left-back may possibly be my best, but last season I played in central midfield.

“They haven’t really worked on positional stuff with me yet, so we will have to wait and see.”