24-Year-Old Becomes First Summer Signing

Credit Andrew Vaughan

Sutton United midfielder Alistair Smith has joined the Imps as the first of Mark Kennedy’s summer recruits.

Despite reported late interest from League Two Gillingham, City have secured a two-year deal for Smith, a box-to-box midfielder with goals and assists in his game. As expected, as well as Gillingham, City beat competition from a number of League One clubs for his signature, and he’ll join on a free transfer upon conclusion of his deal at Gander Green Lane.

The 24-year-old has had an impressive two seasons with the Londoners, scoring 14 times in 78 appearances across his time with the club, and was named their Young Player of the Year in the 2022/23 campaign.

Speaking to the club’s official media, he says he chose City ahead of other clubs in this division as he believes it is the perfect place to continue his development.

“I got a really good vibe after meeting people like Jez George, Mark Kennedy, and everyone else at the club,” said the former Mansfield trainee. “I can tell it’s a really close-knit group from top to bottom and it’s somewhere that is the right place for me to progress.

“I’m here to work hard for the team. I’m always going to leave everything on the pitch, then I’m looking to show I’m capable of playing at this level. I’m here to help the team push on and have a successful season.”

Imps head coach Mark Kennedy also lauded the capture of his first recruit of the summer. “We are delighted to sign Alistair. He will bring a lot of qualities to the group, will complement our other midfielders and will add athleticism, physicality and goals to the team. He suits our way of playing, fits into our system and is a really good piece of recruitment.”

Smith was born in Beverly and started his career at Mansfield Town. Whilst with the Stags, he had loan spells with Loughborough Dynamo, Frickely, Altrincham, and Kettering before a move to Altrincham brought a new home. He excelled with the Robins, earning a move to Gander Green Lane after Sutton won promotion in July 2021.

This might be a good time to revisit what Sutton United fan Mike Dowling of the Sutton United Podcast had to say about Smith when I spoke to him last week.

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