Despite being limited to second-half substitute appearances over the past month, Edinburgh City striker Allan Smith isn’t about to go chapping on manager James McDonaugh’s door.
The 24-year-old, who joined from Ladbrokes League Two rivals Peterhead in June, is just happy to have his career back on track having been diagnosed with osteitis pubis three years ago.
His condition, which causes inflammation to the lower abdomen and pelvis, has been aided by anti-inflammatories and plenty of rest. And now Smith is feeling the benefits.
The frontman has reserved some of his best performances for the cup competitions so far having started three out of four of the club’s Betfred Cup Group G ties. He also came off the bench to fire City into the last-16 of the Irn-Bru Cup with a late quick-fire double over East Kilbride last Saturday.
Asked if he is hoping to get the nod from McDonaugh ahead of the visit of chasing Annan Athletic tomorrow, Smith insists he is content just to get some minutes on the pitch.
“I really noticed the problem when I was with Stenhousemuir a few seasons back,” Smith explained. “I remember just feeling really sore but thought it would go away so I ignored it. It eventually got that bad that I couldn’t run. I used to lie in my bed at night and even the covers rubbing on it was really painful.
“It took 12 weeks to get a scan and then another 12 weeks for injections so it was a bit of a shambles to be honest. The only thing you can really do is rest, stretch and take anti-inflammatories so the physio and doctor have been really good with me, as has James. It really depends how hard the pitch is as to how it will affect me.
“But I’m feeling a lot better now. I’ve just been training Thursdays recently but I played a full 90 minutes and scored on Tuesday (7-0 East of Scotland Cup win over Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale) and trained last night too.
“I did well when I came on last week with the two goals so I’m doing everything I can. It’s up to the manager but I’m just happy if I play and get some minutes.”
With in-form Blair Henderson and Scott Shepherd currently occupying the positions up top, Smith appreciates he may have to bide his time. However, the native of Selkirk is loving life at the league leaders and has no regrets over his summer switch from Balmoor.
“I can’t really complain about anything to be honest,” Smith said. “Everything has been great so far. Peterhead wanted to keep me but the City deal just felt right, for a lot of reasons. I got used to the travelling, though it was a lot of miles. Every second Friday I’d drive up to Perth and then a minibus would pick a couple of us up and then we’d meet in the hotel in Aberdeen and stay over. I’d lose my Friday night and then I’d be that tired getting back down the road Saturday so it was quiet year.
“Everything’s been great. We’re a close bunch of boys so everything’s going as well as it can be.”
And there is one team-mate Smith is particularly close to.
“Blair is pretty much my best mate, we’ve always been close,” he said. “I’ve known him for a long time, both in and out of football. I also work for his dad as a landscape gardener. We were in the same team with Dunfermline that got to the Youth Cup final and played Celtic. Blair and I were up front that night and I scored, although we lost 3-1.
“Blair is absolutely flying this season. Everyone in the changing room thinks we don’t do anything without each other!”