Smith: NI call-up is still my dream

Michael Smith has signed for League One side Peterborough United. Photo:
Michael Smith has signed for League One side Peterborough United. Photo:

New Peterborough United signing Michael Smith says he’s aiming to emulate Posh team-mate Grant McCann and play for Northern Ireland, writes John Gillespie.

It has been a long-held ambition of the former Ballyclare Comrades full-back to pull on a green shirt at Windsor Park and he’s hoping he can catch the eye of international boss, Michael O’Neill.

“Playing for my country would be a dream come true and the fact that I’m now in League One will hopefully strengthen my case to be included in the squad some time in the near future,” the Monkstown man told the Times.

His switch to London Road, for an undisclosed fee, was confirmed on Friday. The 25-year-old arrived after a three-year spell with Bristol Rovers, who were relegated from League Two last season.

“It’s always hard leaving a club because I’ve made great friends, but football is a career and this is what happens. I will be forever grateful to Bristol Rovers for the opportunity they have given me and I will always look out for their results,” he said.

Smith, who was named in the League Two Team of the Year and won Rovers’ Player of the Year award, is targeting promotion with Darren Ferguson’s men.

“Without a doubt, this club belongs in the Championship but we have to earn that now and that’s got to be the aim for this season. Hard work and attitude will be key this year if we are going do something special,” he said.

A former pupil at Belfast High, he began playing football with Greenisland before moving on to Ballyclare. From Dixon Park he graduated to Irish Premiership side Ballymena United.

A jump across the water beckoned in 2011. He was linked with Scottish club Kilmarnock before securing a move to Britsol Rovers.

On Friday Rovers tweeted: “Everyone at Rovers would like to thank @m_smith1988 for his efforts during his time at the club, and wish him every success for the future.”

VIDEO: Watch an interview with Michael Smith here