Goalkeeper has been with Blues for six years and hopes to earn a professional deal this summer.
If current Under-18s captain Ted Smith manages to earn himself a professional contract at Roots Hall, it will be the culmination of six years’ hard work at the club’s Academy.
Smith, who has appeared on the first-team bench and featured in a series of pre-season friendlies this term whilst deputising for injured namesake Paul, accepts that it would be a fairytale conclusion to a story that first saw him peering through the fence at Boots & Laces as a 10 and 11-year-old.
“I think it’s my sixth year here. I came from Leigh Ramblers and I used to play literally on the pitches behind the training ground, so I used to watch Southend and hope that I’d get in one day and, I’ve come from there really. I’ve just gone from Sunday League and school football to playing here,” he explained in an exclusive interview for the Morecambe edition of ‘Blues’, the club’s official matchday programme.
The teenager is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Daniel Bentley and Luke Chambers as shotstoppers who have earned professional deals in recent seasons, and he is keen to pay tribute to goalkeeping coach Terry Mason for the role he has played in his development.
“There’s no guarantee because they’ve brought ‘keepers through before, I’ve just got to do what I can to earn myself a contract; hopefully I’ll get one. I get most of my feedback from Terry Mason. I’ve been close to Tel for a while; as an Under-12 and Under-13 he was the Under-12s-16 coach and he’s done really well to get into the first team but I think if you ask any of the ‘keepers they’ll say he’s brilliant, he’s really good with us.”
You can read more about Ted Smith’s aspirations for the season and his pride in being made skipper of the youth team this season in Saturday’s programme, priced just £3. The Morecambe match has been designated Blues Youth Day, helping to raise the profile of the club’s Academy.