Smith is Rover the moon with new deal

Michael Smith in action for Bristol Rovers. Photo courtesy of
Michael Smith in action for Bristol Rovers. Photo courtesy of

Monkstown man Michael Smith has told the Newtownabbey Times he is delighted to have been handed a new two-year deal at Bristol Rovers.

The former Ballyclare Comrades and Ballymena United defender arrived at the League Two club in 2011, and has went on to become a key figure in John Ward’s team. At the weekend, he was named the club’s Supporters’ Player of the Year.

“To get a new deal at Rovers means a lot to me,” Smith said. “I’ve been through a lot this year, personally, and to be able to continue to play football in England for at least the next two seasons is, for me, an achievement. It shows people I can compete at this level.”

The 24-year-old added: “Bristol Rovers is a massive club in League Two and since I first arrived, my goal, and the whole club’s goal, has been to gain promotion to League One.”

He cited hard work and steady displays at right-back as the primary reasons why Rovers boss Ward is keen to keep him at the Memorial Stadium.

“Even when playing back home for both Ballyclare and Ballymena, I always worked hard in training and it’s something the gaffer here loves. He’s big on giving 100 per cent, but I’d say the main reason for getting the new deal has been my consistent performances this season, which I’m really pleased about.”