East Fife’s Captain Kevin Smith has told jordanburtfootball.com he is close to returning from injury, after the influential attacker missed the opening matches in the 2017/18 campaign.
Speaking on Friday – ahwad of the East Fife vs Raith Rovers match – the former Notts County player said:
“We have had a good start and have a good squad. We have seemed to gel quite quickly; on a Saturday, when you have your home fans behind you, it spurs you on so we must try take advantage of that, especially as we have the new astroturf down at Bayview now too. The manager has looked at games and where he feels we can get the points and looking at it, this season, so far, it has been a great start – defeating Alloa at home who were in the play-off’s last year while also going away to Arbroath, which is notoriously a tough venue, and picking up all the points too was a massive result. We must try build on this now.”
Darren Young came into the job late on this summer, after Barry Smith left for local rivals Raith. Smith commented:
“Barry was only in the post a short period of time, but, I think all the boys were all quite close to him – I can see why Raith wanted him, he is a very good manager. From our perspective, we had to move on as quickly as possible and since Darren has come in, he has shown that he is proven at this level and the experience he brings too considering the level he played at as a player is massive for a club like East Fife; he has great contacts in the game as well which always helps. Speaking as a player, it doesn’t matter who is in charge, we go out there every week and try our best to win because we are representing a very good football club when we are out on that pitch.”
Speaking of his injury, Smith replied:
“My ankle was niggling away at me the whole of last season: I rolled my ankle against Edinburgh City in the first half of the season but I was struggling from there-on-in. I had been for a few scans and things like that, but, ultimately, blood was struggling to get through to my ankle so, it wasn’t healing very quickly. Surgeons went in and the operation went well – I am hoping to be back around the end of September. It wasn’t a serious injury but it was one that was niggling away and I needed to get it sorted. We knew about Christmas time that I was going to need an operation so J spoke to Barry [Smith] when he came in as manager and the physio too and both said if I could play, to try to get through to the end of the season and then get fixed in the off-season; that was our plan and that is how it has worked out. I wanted to miss as little football as I can and that is now going to happen.”
On having to fight for his place when he returns, the East Fife skipper was up for the challenge.
“That is what happens when boys get injured – it is up to other people to grab that jersey and to be fair to the boys, they have certainly done that. You want competition for places as when you have depth in your squad, it really does help out and maybe that is something in which we lacked last year. I am looking forward to the challenge: for myself personally, I think as an attacking player you want to hit double figures every season and I think I have managed that during my time at East Fife; if we can keep the squad together and fit, promotion needs to be our aim. With the boys we have, the play-off’s has to be our minimum aim – we just missed out last season due to injuries and things like that, so with our bigger depth of squad this season, I think it is definitely a realistic target.”