Time at club: 2004-2005
Dean Smith player profile:
Dean Smith was vastly experienced by the time he joined Port Vale in 2004. He began his career at Walsall where he made over 150 appearances and had a similar spell with Hereford United. He also played nearly 300 times for Leyton Orient.
In 2004, the experienced Smith looked to be a good acquisition. Michael Walsh was injury-prone and Vale needed a reliable alternative to first-choice pairing George Pilkington and Sam Collins.
Smith’s spell started well with a goal in Vale’s opening cup game – a 3-1 League Cup defeat to Doncaster Rovers – but his time at Vale Park was to be cut short. Smith harboured managerial ambitions and he quit Vale in January 2005 to become youth club at Leyton Orient. He had made fifteen appearances and scored once while in a Vale shirt.
Smith went on to become a successful manager with spells at Walsall, Brentford and Aston Villa.
More on Dean Smith:
- Valiants of old: Dean Smith, veteran who went on to managerial success
- Dean Smith
- Connections: Vale and Walsall
- Port Vale sign defender Dean Smith
- Fourth Trialist Joins Port Vale
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