AFC Bournemouth defender Adam Smith is pleased he had the patience to break through into the first team with the Cherries following his move from Tottenham Hotspur.
After making his first move to Dean Court from Spurs in September 2010 on a youth loan, Smith went on to make 42 appearances for the Cherries that season as the club reached the League One play-offs.
When Smith returned to Dean Court in January 2014 on a permanent deal, the Cherries were in the Championship.
At the time he was behind Simon Francis in the pecking order at right back, he made just five appearances (one start), totalling 129 minutes.
During his first full season with AFC Bournemouth he made 29 appearances, but remained firmly behind Francis for a starting role.
But during the Cherries first season in the Premier League, Simon Francis reverted to a centre back role in the absence of then injured captain Tommy Elphick, Smith stepped in and took his chance, making 31 Premier League appearances.
Last season he made 36 Premier League appearances, amassing 3,099 minutes, scoring once and picking up five assists.
He is now one of the first names on the team-sheet alongside a regular back four of Simon Francis, Steve Cook and Charlie Daniels.
Smith told the Daily Echo…
‘…At times, I did think ‘maybe it wasn`t the right move to come here`. I had to wait patiently but when I got my chance I took it and I haven`t looked back since.
‘It’s worked out and I’m so glad I have come to this club and that I got my opportunity and managed to grab it…’
‘…If you are not playing he (AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe) likes to work with you on the training pitch. I think it is trust as well – he wants to see more of you across a season before giving you your opportunity.
‘Then, when he trusts you a bit more, that is when you play more…’
Got to admit when initially on loan in L1 I thought he was a bit of defensive liability so I was disappointed when he signed permanently. Didn’t play much in championship but over the two years in Prem he has improved dramatically as a defender. Think last season Daniels and smith played more cautiously than in the first season in Prem but remain an attacking threat. – Join the conversation here.
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