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Ashford United striker David Smith says playing regularly has turned him into a different player

By Joe Harbert

Ashford United striker David Smith says he feels more energised than ever this season, adding his goalscoring exploits have left him feeling transformed as a player.

Since his arrival from Dover Athletic in the summer, United’s No.10 has hit 17 goals in all competitions this campaign, and his 15 in the league currently make him top scorer in Isthmian South East.

Despite also netting in 10 of his 14 league matches, including a first-half strike in Saturday’s win at Hythe, Smith admits he isn’t even close to reaching his full potential yet.

Ashford's David Smith celebrates scoring against HythePicture: Paul Amos
Ashford's David Smith celebrates scoring against HythePicture: Paul Amos

“I feel 100% a different player this year,” the former Sevenoaks and Sittingbourne loanee said.

“Going into every Saturday knowing that you’re on the team sheet and probably going to play makes a massive difference.

“In the past I was going into games knowing I wouldn’t really be playing, so my preparation would be all wrong.

“Some of the clubs I joined on loan I only played like 10 minutes of football in a month, which was pretty pointless.

“But football is a game of opinions, and you never know who will like you and who won’t.

“I’m just grateful the manager has given me the opportunity to come and show people what I can do, because I believe I work hard every single game.

“I know I’m not the finished article and I know there’s things I need to finesse like my finishing and my awareness, which will end up making me a bigger threat to defences.

“Sometimes I can be on my heels to get to the ball, so there’s finer details that need to be tuned.”

The 20-year-old, who started his career at Maidstone United Academy as a teenager, also believes the Nuts & Bolts’ offensive prowess rivals that of any team in the division.

He added: “I feel each week we’re just getting better and improving, and as a team we’re beginning to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“If one person doesn’t play, another can slot straight in and you wouldn’t really notice because the end product is almost second-to-none.

“I know personally too that as a striker lots of midfielders in this team can find me, whether it’s Tom O’Connor, Lee Prescott or Danny Walder.

“We’ve got a lot of potential in the squad that we haven’t reached yet.”

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