New signing Smith determined to push Buchanan for Cobblers starting role
New Cobblers signing George Smith says he is not only at Sixfields to pick the brains of fellow left-back Dave Buchanan - he'll be doing his best to try and take his first team place as well.
The 20-year-old signed for an undisclosed fee from non-League Gateshead on Wednesday afternoon, and can’t wait to resurrect his Football League career.
Smith spent the first two seasons as a footballer with his hometown club Barnsley in Sky Bet League One, but he was released following their promotion to the Championship in 2016.
That led to Smith dropping down to the Vanarama National League to ply his trade, but after a strong season in the north east he is delighted the Cobblers have come knocking.
He is under no illusions how tough it is going to be to shift Buchanan from the Town first team, but he insists that has to be his ambition.
“It has been a bit of a whirlwind in the past week, but everything has pulled me towards here,” said Smith.
“It’s a massive club and a big step up for me to take, and I am willing to take that step and do my best here.
“I am still young and I am still learning, but I am an attacking full-back and I like to get up and down the pitch, and I have a good amount of pace and good delivery into the box.
“I am classed as a defender, but I like to get forward and probably do more going forward than I do defensively.”
And what about the task of taking that first team spot from the experienced Buchanan?
The Cobblers fans’ favourite started all but one of the team’s 54 matches last season, and he has failed to start just one game in his two years at Sixfields.
He racked up 106 consecutive appearances after signing from Preston in the summer of 2015, a run that was only ended due to a one-match suspension after he was sent off for two yellow cards in the 1-1 Easter Monday draw with Shrewsbury Town.
Buchanan is a player that Smith has huge respect for, but the new Town signing admits he is determined to try and claim that first team jersey.
“Dave Buchanan has been around the block,” said Smith, who played with Lewin Nyatanga and Jak McCourt during his time at Barnsley.
“He will help me and tutor me along, and give me advice that can make me a better player.
“The reason I have come here is because I feel as though I can give him competition.
“Don’t get me wrong, I can learn stuff off him and make myself a better player, but the reason I am here is to give him competition.
“So I do want to make myself a better player, but also first and foremost to try and take his shirt off him, even though he has played as many games as he has.
“I have come here to play games as well, and regardless of my age that is what I want to do.”