Defender Nathan Smith is looking for a season of stability as he looks to progress his career at the club.
The youngster has been a virtual ever-present in the Port Vale defence since he broke into the first-team in 2016.
Following a loan spell with Torquay United, the locally-born defender has now passed 175 appearances for the Valiants and says a successful season on the pitch will help him develop.
Smith told the official Port Vale website: “At the minute just to get a good season under my belt where we’re not in a relegation battle because I’ve not been involved in that before, my aspirations for the season is to push Port Vale as high as possible and do everything I can to help the team.
“I think going forward, if I have a season where we’re at the other end of the table it’s only going to help me in the future.”
It looks promising on the pitch this season and even though John Askey’s current side have not quite found consistency of performance it is at least an improvement on the relegation battles of the last few seasons.
Smith agrees adding: “You could also say there’s more pressure on me when we’re in crisis situations, we’ve got to defend better and harder. If you’re always winning and the balls at the other end of the pitch I’ve not really got a lot to do! So perhaps I can’t develop that way but I’d rather that then losing every week!”
The defender is still only 23 years old and has scope to develop further. In years to come Smith could even feature on Premier League news and highlights websites such as https://www.buaksib.com/ in the future. However, the defender is staying level-headed for the time being telling the media: “If a player sits here and says they don’t want to play any higher then they are probably lying to you. But at the minute, I think it is just to get a good season under my belt.”
If Port Vale do improve this season, it is certain that Nathan Smith will have played a significant part in their success.
Nathan Smith Factfile
Port Vale appearances: 176
Awards: Port Vale player of the season 2017, young player of the season 2019