Craig Mackail-Smith

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Craig Mackail-Smith
Craig Mackail-Smith 20140705.jpg
Mackail-Smith playing for Brighton & Hove Albion in 2014
Personal information
Full name Craig Anthony Robert Mackail-Smith[1]
Date of birth (1984-02-25) 25 February 1984 (age 33)[1]
Place of birth Watford, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Luton Town
Number 12
Youth career
1999–2000 St Albans City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2003 St Albans City 31 (1)
2003 Arlesey Town (loan)
2003–2004 Arlesey Town
2004–2007 Dagenham & Redbridge 107 (38)
2007–2011 Peterborough United 185 (80)
2011–2015 Brighton & Hove Albion 109 (21)
2014 Peterborough United (loan) 3 (0)
2015– Luton Town 35 (4)
2017 Peterborough United (loan) 18 (5)
National team
2005–2006 England C 7 (4)
2011–2012 Scotland 7 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:57, 30 April 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13:11, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Craig Anthony Robert Mackail-Smith (born 25 February 1984) is a professional footballer who plays as a striker for League Two club Luton Town. He played for England C and Scotland.

Club career[edit]

St Albans City[edit]

Born in Watford, Hertfordshire,[1] Mackail-Smith began his career with the youth system at St Albans City in 1999.[3] He made the step up to the first-team during the 2000–01 season, making his debut as a 68th-minute substitute in a 0–0 draw at home to Billericay Town on 10 March 2001.[4] Mackail-Smith made his first starting appearance for the club in a 1–1 draw away to Gravesend & Northfleet in the Full Members Cup third round, resulting in a 4–3 defeat on penalties after a penalty shoot-out.[5] He made six further starting appearances to complete the season with a total of ten appearances in all competitions.[6] Mackail-Smith struggled to hold down a first-team place during the 2001–02 season, making just 13 appearances, of which only three were from the starting lineup.[6] However, he scored his first senior goal in a 2–0 win away to Hertford Town in the Herts Senior Cup second round on 20 November 2001.[7] In 2002–03, Mackail-Smith continued to find his first-team opportunities limited, making just five starting appearances from 22 matches in all competitions.[6] He scored once in a 3–2 win away to Hampton & Richmond Borough on 26 April 2003.[8]

Arlesey Town[edit]

Mackail-Smith was loaned out to Isthmian League Division One North club Arlesey Town in 2002–03, before making a permanent move for the 2003–04 season.[9] He made 54 appearances, scoring 17 goals during the season,[10] including a brace in a 4–2 win at home to Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Trophy on 3 February 2004.[11]

Dagenham & Redbridge[edit]

In May 2004, Mackail-Smith joined Conference National club Dagenham & Redbridge, where he scored 38 league goals in two-and-a-half seasons.[12]

Peterborough United[edit]

On 29 January 2007, Mackail-Smith was signed by League Two club Peterborough United, with Dagenham retaining 15% of any future transfer fee.[13] He made a strong start to his Peterborough United career, scoring eight goals in 15 games.[14] Peterborough won promotion to League One in Mackail-Smith's first full season with the club,[15] in which he made 36 appearances, scoring 12 goals.[16] His seven goals in four matches in the FA Cup saw him finish as top scorer in the competition.[17] This included four goals in a 5–0 win away to Staines Town in the second round, which saw him win the FA Cup Player of the Round award.[18][19] The following season, Mackail-Smith scored 23 goals in 46 appearances to help Peterborough win a second successive promotion to the Championship.[20][21]

Steve Claridge published a scouting report on Mackail-Smith on 23 September 2008. He described him as "a rampaging Nordic Viking with his long blonde hair" and was impressed by the way he would pick up the ball and run at defenders, attacking at every opportunity in what Claridge described as a positive way.[22] Mackail-Smith scored 35 goals for the club in 2010–11, making him the most prolific scorer in England for the season. His 27 goals in League One made him top scorer and earned him the League One Player of the Year award,[23][24] helping Peterborough to reach the League One play-offs.[25] He was also named in the PFA League One Team of the Year.[26] Mackail-Smith scored in each play-off match, including the second goal in a 3–0 win over Huddersfield Town in the 2011 Football League One play-off Final at Old Trafford to clinch an instant return to the Championship for Peterborough.[27][28] Following the match, Mackail-Smith expressed his desire to leave the club, stating "I want to play at the highest level I can attain and I want to play in the Premier League."[29] He was the subject of bids from Premier League clubs including Queens Park Rangers.[30] Mackail-Smith made 212 appearances for Peterborough United, scoring 99 goals.[12]

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

Mackail-Smith playing for Brighton & Hove Albion in 2011

On 4 July 2011, Mackail-Smith joined Brighton & Hove Albion for an initial transfer fee of £2.5 million, possibly rising to £3.25 million, signing a four-year contract.[31] He scored his first goal for Brighton in a 1–0 win away to Portsmouth on 13 August.[32] Mackail-Smith then scored four goals in his next seven matches, including a brace in a 3–3 draw at home to Leeds United.[33] However, Mackail-Smith then hit a goal drought and struggled to score, netting just one goal between October and February in a 1–0 win away to Derby County on 29 November.[33][34] He ended his goal drought by coming off the bench to score the opening goal in a 2–1 win away to Leeds United, against whom he scored a brace earlier in the season.[35] On his 28th birthday, Mackail-Smith scored at the Amex Stadium for the first time in five months in a 3–0 win at home to Ipswich Town,[36][37] and scored again the next weekend in a 1–1 draw with Doncaster Rovers.[38] In total, Mackail-Smith scored 10 goals for Brighton, and he revealed his disappointment at his goal haul, which he largely put down to adapting to Brighton's passing style of football.[39]

Mackail-Smith enjoyed a strong start to the 2012–13 season, scoring six goals in six games.[40] This included two spectacular strikes, one an overhead kick, in a 3–1 victory over Burnley.[41] He scored a total of 11 goals before a serious injury to his Achilles tendon on 5 March 2013 prevented him from playing for 13 months.[42] Mackail-Smith returned for Brighton's final run-in to the 2013–14 season, playing in both legs of the play-off semi-final against Derby County, which the club lost 6–2 on aggregate.[43][44] During the 2014–15 season, Mackail-Smith found himself back in the first-team under new manager Sami Hyypiä, but struggled to score, netting just three goals in 34 appearances in all competitions.[45] On 24 April 2015, Brighton confirmed that Mackail-Smith's contract would not be renewed and that he would leave the club during the summer.[46]

Peterborough United (loan)[edit]

Mackail-Smith rejoined Peterborough United on loan on 27 November 2014, a move that saw him link-up once more with striker Aaron McLean, having scored 183 goals between them during their previous partnership at the club from 2007 and 2011, which included three promotions.[47] He made his second debut in a 3–0 defeat at home to Bristol City one day later.[48] He was recalled by Brighton caretaker manager Nathan Jones on 23 December, having made three appearances for Peterborough during his loan spell.[49]

Luton Town[edit]

In July 2015, Mackail-Smith began training with League Two club Luton Town, headed up by his former Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still.[50] He featured in numerous pre-season friendlies, rebuffing interest from League One teams Blackpool and Southend United,[51][52] before signing a two-year contract with Luton on 1 August.[53] He debuted on the opening day of 2015–16 in a 1–1 draw away to Accrington Stanley.[54] Mackail-Smith scored his first goal for Luton in a 3–2 defeat away to Yeovil Town on 22 August,[55] and followed up with his second goal one week later in a 2–1 defeat at home to Portsmouth.[56] A fractured tibia suffered after just 15 minutes during a 1–0 win away to Plymouth Argyle on 19 March 2016 ended Mackail-Smith's season, having made 34 appearances, scoring four goals in all competitions.[57][58]

Mackail-Smith suffered a further setback in pre-season ahead of 2016–17 when he underwent surgery to insert a pin in his fractured tibia, ruling him out for another six weeks.[57] However, he made a full recovery and made his return as a 70th-minute substitute for Jordan Cook in a 3–1 win away to Exeter City in the FA Cup on 5 November 2016.[59] Mackail-Smith struggled to force his way into the first-team and returned to League One club Peterborough United on loan until the end of 2016–17.[60] His first appearance after returning on loan came four days later in a 3–0 victory away to Port Vale and completed the loan spell with 18 appearances and five goals.[61] Mackail-Smith was released when his contract expired at the end of 2016–17.[62]

International career[edit]

England C[edit]

While with Dagenham & Redbridge, Mackail-Smith received his first international recognition being called up to play for the England C team, winning seven caps and scoring four goals.[63] He helped England C win the 2005–06 European Challenge Trophy, scoring twice.[64]

Scotland[edit]

Mackail-Smith qualified to play for Scotland through his Edinburgh-born grandmother Margaret and confirmed his interest in playing for Scotland if called up in May 2009.[65] On 24 March 2011, he received his first senior international call-up from Scotland boss Craig Levein for a friendly with Brazil on 27 March.[66] He made his international debut when he came on as an 87th-minute substitute for Kenny Miller.[67][68] He scored his first international goal against Liechtenstein on 8 October in a crucial Euro 2012 qualifier,[69] and played in the match against Spain in Alicante on 11 October, winning a penalty from which David Goodwillie scored, in a match that Spain won 3–1.[70] Mackail-Smith played seven times for Scotland in total, scoring one goal.[71]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Mackail-Smith playing for Brighton & Hove Albion in 2011
As of match played 30 April 2017
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
St Albans City 2000–01[72] Isthmian League Premier Division 9 0 0 0 1[a] 0 10 0
2001–02[73] Isthmian League Premier Division 8 0 0 0 5[b] 1 13 1
2002–03[74] Isthmian League Premier Division 14 1 3 0 5[c] 0 22 1
Total 31 1 3 0 11 1 45 2
Dagenham & Redbridge 2004–05[75] Conference National 40 12 2 0 1[d] 0 43 12
2005–06[76] Conference National 39 11 1 0 5[d] 3 45 14
2006–07[77] Conference National 28 15 1 0 2[d] 1 31 16
Total 107 38 4 0 8 4 119 42
Peterborough United 2006–07[14] League Two 15 8 15 8
2007–08[16] League Two 36 12 4 7 0 0 1[e] 0 41 19
2008–09[20] League One 46 23 5 3 1 0 1[e] 0 53 26
2009–10[78] Championship 43 10 1 0 3 1 47 11
2010–11[27] League One 45 27 4 2 3 3 4[f] 3 56 35
Total 185 80 14 12 7 4 6 3 212 99
Brighton & Hove Albion 2011–12[33] Championship 45 9 3 0 2 1 50 10
2012–13[40] Championship 29 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 31 11
2013–14[43] Championship 5 0 0 0 0 0 2[g] 0 7 0
2014–15[45] Championship 30 1 1 0 3 2 34 3
Total 109 21 6 0 5 3 2 0 122 24
Peterborough United (loan) 2014–15[45] League One 3 0 3 0
Luton Town 2015–16[58] League Two 33 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 34 4
2016–17[61] League Two 2 0 1 0 0 0 3[h] 1 6 1
Total 35 4 2 0 0 0 3 1 40 5
Peterborough United (loan) 2016–17[61] League One 18 5 18 5
Career total 488 149 29 12 12 7 30 9 559 177
  1. ^ Appearance in Full Members Cup
  2. ^ One appearance in Isthmian League Cup, two appearances and one goal in Herts Senior Cup, one appearance in Herts Charity Cup, one in Billy Minter Trophy
  3. ^ Three appearances in Isthmian League Cup, two in Herts Senior Cup
  4. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in FA Trophy
  5. ^ a b Appearance in Football League Trophy
  6. ^ One appearance in Football League Trophy, three appearances and three goals in League One play-offs
  7. ^ Appearances in Championship play-offs
  8. ^ Appearances in EFL Trophy

International[edit]

As of match played 26 May 2012[79]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Scotland 2011 5 1
2012 2 0
Total 7 1

International goals[edit]

As of match played 26 May 2012. Scotland score listed first, score column indicates score after each Mackail-Smith goal.[79]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1 8 October 2011 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein 3  Liechtenstein 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying [69]

Honours[edit]

Peterborough United

Individual

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Craig Mackail-Smith". ESPN FC. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
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External links[edit]