Colchester Confirm Smith Move
Thursday, 22nd Aug 2019 15:54
Colchester United have confirmed that Town’s head of academy goalkeeping Darren Smith has joined them as their first-team goalkeeper-coach, as TWTD revealed last month.
Smith spent time working with the Blues’ first team during the latter stages of Malcolm Webster's time at Town and following the veteran keeper-coach’s retirement last summer was handed his job on a provisional basis under Paul Hurst before Paul Lambert appointed Jimmy Walker and he returned to his role with the academy.
"It all came about through Gerks really," Smith told the U's official website. "He came in and trained with me in the summer before signing here, and then knowing that I was looking for a new challenge and something to get my teeth into, asked if it was something that tickled my fancy.
"It escalated from there in the space of seven to 10 days. I came in and had a chat with [head coach] John [McGreal] and [director of football] Tony [Humes] about what the club is trying to build and where they want to go going forward and that really impressed me. From that moment, my mind was made up and the rest is history."
McGreal says he’s pleased to have added Smith to his staff with previous incumbent Rene Gilmartin having moved to Bristol City earlier in the summer.
“Smudge comes in having worked with one of the best goalkeeper coaches I’ve worked under as well in Malcolm Webster,” the one-time Town centre-half told the Colchester Gazette.
“He’s been working with him for a number of years at Ipswich, where he’s been involved in first-team football.
‘He’s a local boy and I think it’s been a brilliant move. Having Dean Gerken here, it’s given it a helping hand because Smudge has worked with him.
“You can already see the improvement in our two younger goalkeepers in Ethan [Ross] and Bailey [Vose] so it’s a really good move for Darren.
“It will also improve Dean even though he’s 34 years of age because goalkeepers can go on and play until they’re immobile.
“Looking at the way Gerks has been performing and training, he’s been in top form and that’s down to Darren as well, with the work that he’s been putting in."
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