The signing of central midfielder Jonathan Smith made it the perfect 10 for Boro’; our summer 2017 recruitment drive entering double figures. From Luton Town Smith came; the Hatters’ longest-serving player at that point was allowed to leave after his cancelled by mutual consent. Luton’s manager, Nathan Jones, saying: With the players we were bringing in for this season, we felt we couldn’t give the kind of game time he needs. To be fair to him, we made him available to enable him to progress his career elsewhere.”
Our hope, of course, was that Luton’s loss is Boro’s game. You don’t rack up well over 100 appearances for a side if you’re not much cop, or at least that’s how it should work. We’re talking about Luton, after all. It’s no surprise the Hatters were bullish despite his departure, but that’s how football works. Boro’, regardless of any trash talk, were getting a midfielder who knows his way around the Football League.
Jonathan Smith: Before Boro’
Prior to his time on the wrong side of the county border, Smith built up his experience at a number of clubs. He started out with Morecambe; as a Preston lad, the Shrimpers were local enough. He came through the youth set-up, but featured little. Instead, it was loan stints at Fleetwood Town and Bamber Bridge that gave him a sustained experience of first team action. Upon Morecambe’s promotion in 2007, Smith was released by the club.
A free agent, Smith moved to Forest Green Rovers. In his three-year stay in rural Gloucestershire, he became an influential squad member. It was a similar story upon joining York City three years later, though his time at Bootham Crescent was much shorter. In summer 2011, Paolo Di Canio made Smith his second summer signing at Swindon Town and he featured prominently as the Robins won League Two.
Smith’s time at Swindon was brief too. He was transfer listed at the end of that title-winning campaign. A return to York beckoned; the Minstermen now back in the Football League themselves. It didn’t seem to work out on his return to York and, in November 2012, he moved to Luton on loan. From that point, a relationship started that would last nearly five years.
The switch to Bedfordshire became permanent in January 2013, despite York recalling him the month before.