Will Smith set to return for Harrogate Town at Oldham Athletic

Will Smith is in line to return to action when Harrogate Town visit Oldham Athletic this weekend.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 7:52 am
Harrogate Town defender Will Smith has not played a single minute of League Two football so far this season. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The 22-year-old former Barnsley centre-half has been a mainstay of Simon Weaver's defence since joining the club in the summer of 2019, clocking up more than 80 competitive appearances in the space of just two seasons.

But, Smith has barely featured this term, his only appearance coming in an EFL Trophy win over Mansfield Town as a result of him falling behind veteran Rory McArdle in the pecking order.

Smith has spent the majority of Town's nine League Two outings this term warming the substitutes' bench, though he was not even included in the match-day squad for Saturday's goalless draw with Stevenage.

Sulphurites boss Simon Weaver.

A groin strain picked up by ex-Bradford City stalwart McArdle during the first half of that game has however freed up a slot next to Connor Hall at the heart of the Harrogate back-four.

"Will Smith can 100 per cent expect to be involved at Oldham," boss Weaver told the Harrogate Advertiser.

"We've chosen to lean on the experience of Rory so far this season, but Will is a player who we really value. The sky is the limit as far as his career is concerned.

"He understands why he wasn't in the squad on Saturday, we had enough defensive cover on the bench with Nathan [Sheron], who can operate in a number of different positions, just like Warren Burrell, who slotted in very well after Rory had to go off.

"But Will is an out-and-out centre-half and he has been training ever so well, despite the disappointment of finding himself out of the team.

"We ran through some defensive drills in training on Tuesday and Will was outstanding. He looked really sharp, really on it, so I'm sure he'll be ready for Saturday's game."