Third Academy Graduate Pens Pro Deal
Barnsley Football Club is delighted to announce Academy graduate George Smith has signed a professional contract at Oakwell.
The left-back has put pen to paper on a one-year deal, becoming the third scholar from last season’s second-year group to sign professional terms.
“It’s literally a dream come true,” said the 17-year-old, speaking exclusively to barnsleyfc.co.uk.
“I’m very happy just to sign. It’s my hometown club, I’ve lived here all my life. It’s a club close to my heart and to sign a professional deal here makes me very happy.”
Smith first saw the Reds in action as a seven-year-old and is now aiming to grace the same turf as those he cheered on as a youngster.
“Since I signed at Under 12s, it’s all I wanted to do – sign a professional deal,” added Smith.
“I’m trying to get on Oakwell week in, week out, that’s my aim now.
“My aim for next season is to come back flying, fit, healthy and strong. I’m going to show Danny Wilson what I’m about. I want to get on that pitch week in, week out.
“I’d like to thank Ronnie (Branson) and Mark (Burton) in the Academy. They’ve not once ever doubted me, they’ve always persevered with me. It’s a massive thanks to them and everybody else involved in the Academy.”
The defender has featured in over 100 games during his two-year scholarship for the Under 18s and the Under 21s – game-time which stands him in good stead for the new season as a first-year professional.
“It never took a toll on my body,” he added. “I recovered well with the help of Nathan (Winder) and Paul (Bower) in the Academy Sports Science department. They always looked after me and had no objections to me playing three games a week sometimes. It came naturally to me, so it was a case of if I needed to play in the Under 21s, I played.
“I got more and more experience playing against seasoned pros and that has prepared me quite well and given me some good experiences.”