Seriously injured then put on furlough, the Edinburgh City striker returning after two years on the sidelines

Forgotten Edinburgh City striker Allan Smith says he never once considered walking away from the game – despite spending almost two years on the sidelines.

By Neil McGlade
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 7:11 pm
Allan Smith in action for Edinburgh City in November 2018. After an ACL injury and furlough, he is now on the verge of winning back his place in the team
Allan Smith in action for Edinburgh City in November 2018. After an ACL injury and furlough, he is now on the verge of winning back his place in the team

The 27-year-old made his first appearance for the Citizens since January 2020 in the 2-1 Scottish Cup third-round victory over Capital rivals Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale last month.

A ruptured cruciate ligament suffered away to Elgin 23 months ago – not to mention the impact of the Covid pandemic – had starved Smith of the game he loves.

However, having made three substitute appearances in as many weeks, the former Dunfermline frontman is champing at the bit to get the nod from the start from boss Gary Naysmith.

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Ahead of the visit of high-flying Forfar to Ainslie Park, Smith told the Evening News: "I was basically out of the game for two years. I did my ACL in the January and I didn't get my operation to November so it took almost 11 months because of Covid.

"It felt like I had retired because I was then put on furlough by the club so I wasn't allowed to be around the boys. It was a strange time but it never crossed my mind that I wouldn't come back.

"It was very tough mentally not knowing when I was going to get my operation. It was Covid this, Covid that, so it was incredibly frustrating.

“Jim Jefferies actually managed to get me sorted so I owe him a lot for doing that.

"But I feel good, my knee feels good and I'm just glad to be back in contention again. I have been playing out of position but that is all down to the injuries we have at the club. The amount is just unbelievable."

Smith added: "I want to start a match so I'm ready for the gaffer to put that trust in me. I want to contribute as we're still hoping we can make the play-offs.

“We just have to take each match as it comes. It feels great to be back.

"Forfar will be a really hard game. They are a really big and physical team but we're looking forward to it."

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