Port Vale defender Nathan Smith has been named the EFL young player of the month for August – an award that stretches across all three divisions of the Football League.
It is a a prestigious award for the outstanding youngster who signed a three-year contract earlier this month.
I’m a local lad which is nice and have come through the Academy here, worked hard when being out on loan and now I’ve been rewarded…
The young defender joins a talented list of footballers such as Dele Alli, Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Wilfred Zaha who have previously won the EFL Young Player of the Month award.
Smith commented: “This award should give any young player hope, especially when you look at the past winners. To have my name alongside those sorts of players will give me huge confidence for the future. I’m a local lad which is nice and have come through the Academy here, worked hard when being out on loan and now I’ve been rewarded.”
Commenting on Smith’s award, David Wetherall, Head of Youth Development at the EFL, said: “To make his debut, score three goals as well as keep clean sheets in the opening month of his EFL career suggests Nathan has the talent to go far, and I look forward to seeing his career develop in the future. Port Vale have had an excellent start to the season and Nathan’s form so far illustrates just how valuable youth development is to clubs throughout the EFL.”
Smith added: “I’m really pleased. It’s very unexpected but it’s one of those that I’ll remember for the rest of my career definitely. Especially with it being the first month of me playing professionally, I’m ecstatic about it to be honest.”
Manager Bruno Ribeiro was full of praise for the youngster commenting: “For me, he’s a Championship player. In a few years, Premier League. At just 20 years old, he’s very strong. He is a fantastic player who works hard every day and I’m very happy with him.”
Congratulations to Nathan from all at OVF.
Is Smith symbolic of the feelgood factor at Vale Park? Can the Valiants go up this season? Check out the latest League One odds on Smartbet