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George Smith Raring To Go

29 June 2015

Reds youngster George Smith is raring to go for the new 2015/16 campaign as pre-season training steps up at Oakwell.

And the youngster has thanked Head Coach Lee Johnson for helping him prepare for the new season.

The 18-year-old full-back was handed a tailored programme to stick to over the summer, with particular focus on the left-back's ball manipulation.

"The gaffer (Lee Johnson) has been great with me, to be fair," Smith told barnsleyfc.co.uk.

"He has been fantastic with me on an individual level. I've been working with a tennis ball to improve my control and that's gone really well.

"Despite being away from Oakwell most of the summer, I had sent the gaffer some videos to show him I was keeping my training up!

"It's great that he has identified what I need to improve on and I am more than willing to work on that to improve my game."

Barnsley-born Smith broke into the first-team last season - his first campaign as a professional - after having overcome a broken toe sustained in pre-season.

Smith went on to make 18 appearances after finally making his debut against Preston on Boxing Day.

"That was obviously very frustrating," reflected Smith. "It seemed I was set to start the season at full-back but the injury curtailed that.

"I was just desperate to make my debut and having that taken away from me for five months was gutting - but it was an experience that made me stronger.

"I felt I did okay when I got into the side. I wanted to play every single second but understood that I'm still a young pro cutting my teeth."

The youngster really impressed the Oakwell faithful with his tremendous drive, pace and aggression and is hopeful of carrying on from where he left off next term.

"I honestly can't wait to get going again," he continued. "I'm really proud to pull on that shirt and I can't wait to do it again if I'm picked on August 8th. The lads are all chomping at the bit in these first few days of training. I can tell we have a very hungry group who are all setting out to impress and progress this season- and I'm one of them."



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