Smith: Linnets restored my career

Former Norwich City youth product Adam Smith admitted yesterday that Southern League, Premier Division title challengers King's Lynn helped save his career.

Former Norwich City youth product Adam Smith admitted yesterday that Southern League, Premier Division title challengers King's Lynn helped save his career.

Smith was the first member of Tommy Taylor's promotion-chasing squad to sign a 12-month contract before Lynn's 3-2 home win against Northwood at the weekend.

The cultured 20-year-old has been a consistent performer in a variety of roles since his Carrow Road release last summer.

"I couldn't get any lower at that point - I was really down," he said. "King's Lynn showed faith in me and I wanted to repay that faith so it was a fairly straightforward decision. I spoke to the gaffer and the chairman and they've been great to me.

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"You play football for the love of it and those feelings of excitement you get before games. The club is competing for a title and I'm enjoying it. We've got some huge matches coming up in front of good crowds. Although I was at Norwich playing in the reserves the competitive edge wasn't really there."

Smith accepts dropping out of the professional game and moving to The Walks was a step into the unknown.

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"When you go from the standard I was at to non-league you don't know what to expect in terms of quality," he said.

"There's plenty of quality at King's Lynn. We've got a really settled side and I've no doubt if we had got that in place pre-season we would've run away with the league.

"I've sat down with some of the lads and we can't believe some of the points we gave away early on."

Smith's ever-present league record this season ended through injury in last month's stunning 3-1 win against fellow championship contenders Chippenham. The 20-year-old admits competition for starting places is now fierce over the pressure-cooker run-in.

"I watched that game and feared I'd never get back in," he said. "People tell me it was some of the best football seen at The Walks in years. Stephen Harvey did ever so well.

"I think there might have been a few worries when Danny Bloomfield was sold but Matt Nolan arrived and he's on fire.

"We knew he was a good player, but even he would probably say he isn't a prolific scorer. To get 11 goals is unbelievable and he has struck up a good partnership with Jack (Defty)."

Title rivals Bath and Salisbury collide this evening and Smith is hoping the Romans do Lynn a favour.

"I guess anything other than a Salisbury win suits us," he said.

"We have one of the harder run-ins, but the belief is there. Even when we don't play well, we have goals in the side and we don't panic.

"I looked at a programme a while back and Salisbury were 12 points ahead with three games in hand.

"Now they are level on points with two matches, and we have to play them as well as Bath."

Linnets' boss Tommy Taylor is set to bring forward planned contract talks with sharpshooter Nolan.

"Matt is an important part of our future plans," said Taylor. "Hopefully we can sit down with the chairman at some point this week and thrash something out."

Nolan rejected a move to Ryman League, Premier Division play-off contenders AFC Wimbledon last week.

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