New Dundalk signing Cammy Smith says he wants to get back enjoying his football again after completing a loan move from Dundee United last week.
The 24-year-old former Scotland U-21 international has enjoyed a frustrating season in his homeland to date, featuring in just 12 games for Robbie Neilson’s side with just one of those a start.
Smith, who had previously featured for the Lilywhites on their pre-season training camp in Spain last month, gave a glimpse of his abilities last Monday when he setup the first of Pat Hoban’s goals in the 2-1 victory against Crusaders at Seaview in Belfast.
Speaking afterwards, he told The Argus he felt Dundalk was a good fit for him to get his career back on track having once been described as the ‘Bergkamp of Aberdeen’ by former Scotland boss Craig Brown after breaking through at the Dons.
“It was early in January when my agent rang me and asked if I fancied coming to have a look at Dundalk and so that they could have a look at me.
“I had one or two options back in Scotland in the Championship but I had played in that league for the last one or two years so I just fancied a change. It hadn’t worked out for me this season at Dundee United and I wasn’t getting the game time that I wanted or felt I deserved. The manager had his reasons but this came about so I came over and really liked the lads and really liked the manager. Higs and Giller have all been great with me and I felt I fitted in really well so we went from there and got a loan agreed until the summer.”
While the loan deal for Smith, who scored 10 goals in 34 appearances when St Mirren won the Scottish Championship in 2017/18, is only until this summer neither he nor Vinny Perth have ruled out a permanent move should things work out.
“There was talk of a longer deal but for other reasons we couldn’t do that. You just never know. So far from what I’ve seen of the group and the manager and the way the club is run I’ve been really impressed so hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.
“If it goes well it would be hard to leave with Europe on the horizon and that was a massive incentive coming here. I’ve spoken to a lot of the lads about it and they said it’s great. I had a little taste of it back home when I was with Aberdeen but to be right involved in the thick of things would be brilliant.
“I just want to get my head down and get a starting spot but it’s a good quality of squad here so it’s going to be tough but I’m really looking forward to it. You know what I just want to get back enjoying my football again because it has been a tough few months for myself but I think this group of lads and the manager can offer me that.”
Smith, who also played 45 minutes against Longford Town last Tuesday, feels he is ready to hit the ground running at Oriel Park.
“I feel quite fit to be fair. I’ve been doing a bit of extra work myself and training with the team back home. I just want to keep pushing myself and now that I’m here I want to do as well as I can and we’ll take it from there come the summer.
“I was impressed by what I seen in Spain and obviously tonight again the boys did well so I just need to get settled myself off the pitch and then the rest will take care of itself.
“I like to add assists and goals. I’m a team player. If I’m part of a successful team then it means I’ve done my part.”
He said he was pleased to have played a part in Hoban’s equaliser against Crusaders within hours of signing.
“I got the ferry over today. Drove my car over into the stadium, got one or two bits and bobs done and then it was straight up here.
“I could have went myself but I think Pat was in a better position and so far I’ve enjoyed playing with him. Based on tonight, I thought we linked up quite well so hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.
“It’s just about getting used to the players and them getting used to me. It’s about getting to know their strengths and weaknesses but I think good players can pick that up pretty quick so I’m sure we’ll do that,” he said.