Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Friday February 27 2009
Ryan Smith can make a big impact at Saints, and the pacy winger is ready to deliver much of the promise he showed at Arsenal as a teenager.
Smith signed a permanent deal at St Mary's back in January after initially joining on loan from League One outfit Millwall.
The 22-year-old went on to start Head Coach Mark Wotte's first game in charge, but since then, the skilful wideman has only featured intermittently.
Assistant First Team Coach Dean Gorre rates Smith and believes he is a real prospect, but it's ultimately down to the player himself to reach his full potential.
Speaking to the club's official site after Monday's reserve match with Crystal Palace, Gorre said, "The boy is a talent, make no mistake about that. He's got to do it himself but we can tell him and show him that some of the things he has done, which have been good to watch.
"He's got something that many other players haven't got which is the ability to go past a player from a standing position and reach top speed within the first three yards and keep going. There are not alot of players who can do that, but there one moment and the next be gone, once he gets going to full pace there is little stopping him.
"His touch is phenomenal too," the Dutchman added. "That combined with his change of pace means that he can do alot. We tell him everyday that if he can keep himself physically fit and mentally strong then he has got a good chance because he's a talent."
Gorre also revealed that Smith stood up and complimented the team after a recent performance which was encouraging to see from a player still in his relatively tender years as a professional.
"We know that we have to work with him a little bit but we think that he's got a big future and he knows that he can do it. He has already shown versatility by playing in alot of advanced positions and I believe that we will see the best of him here."
Date:Friday February 27 2009
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