Steven Smith (footballer)
|Full name||Steven Smith|
|Date of birth||30 August 1985|
|Place of birth||Bellshill, Scotland|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Left Back|
|2011||→ Aberdeen (loan)||16||(0)|
|2011–2012||Preston North End||13||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:45, 17 August 2015 (UTC).
A left back, Smith made an early breakthrough with Scottish side Rangers, and was capped by Scotland B in 2006, aged 21. A series of injuries hampered his career with club and country, before he moved to England with Norwich City, aged 24, on a Bosman transfer. During his time there he had a loan spell at Aberdeen and then joined Preston North End. He then moved to Portland Timbers and in 2013, returned to Rangers where he spent two years, before moving to Kilmarnock.
Born in Bellshill, Smith signed a professional contract with Rangers on 1 June 2002. He made his Rangers debut against Heart of Midlothian on 28 November 2004 as a half-time substitute for Maurice Ross. He played a further three times that season but had to wait until the winter of 2005 to establish himself in the team. He made twenty top team appearances that season including his UEFA Champions League debut against Villarreal CF on 22 February 2006. He signed a two-year contract extension less than a week later, on 27 February 2006. Smith went on to win the Scottish Premier League young player of the month for April 2006 which cemented his place as first choice left-back at the club.
The then new manager Paul Le Guen kept faith in Smith and despite Rangers' poor results and performances, he started the 2006–07 season in impressive form. This was rewarded with a further contract extension which he signed on 27 October 2006. Smith scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 win over Dunfermline Athletic on 11 November 2006 during a game where he was named the Man of the Match.
During the winter of 2006, Smith was troubled by a recurring pelvic injury which would eventually sideline him for over a year. His last match before being injured was an Old Firm match on 17 December. Almost a year later, 20 November 2007, it was reported that Smith was finally on the injury comeback and after a successful hernia operation, he was soon to be fit again. He returned to the first team, appearing as an unused substitute in a Scottish Cup match against Partick Thistle in March 2008, over fifteen months after his last appearance and he made his first start back in the replay of that match the following month.
Smith suffered further injuries in the summer of 2008 and he was ruled out of action until the November 2008. After recovering, he found it difficult to make inroads into the first team. He joined Cardiff City on trial on 25 March 2009, returning to Rangers without having played a first-team game. When injuries and suspensions meant seven first team players were ruled out of the Rangers team, Smith was given his first start in over a year on 11 April 2009, in a league match against Motherwell. He played 73 minutes in the unfamiliar position of left midfield but did well enough to keep his place for following matches.
In season 2009–10 Smith won his first trophy as a player when Rangers defeated St. Mirren in the Scottish League Cup Final.
On 2 June 2010, Smith signed for Norwich City on a Bosman transfer and was handed number 26. However, an achilles injury picked up in pre season has prevented Smith making his Norwich City debut. He made his return to training during the September international break. He made his first appearance in the squad for the fixture against Hull on 25 September, as an unused substitute. Smith made his Norwich City debut in the 4–3 victory over Leicester City, as a second half sub for the two goal hero Wes Hoolahan on 28 September. He made his first start in the 3–0 away victory over Bristol City due to the injury to Adam Drury in the warm up on 2 October 2010. Smith is expected to be given an extended run in the team due to Adam Drury's groin injury. Unfortunately, Smith picked up a hip injury in the 2–2 draw against Burnley, and was sidelined beyond the new year. Norwich boss Paul Lambert announced that Smith was looking to leave Norwich as he was finding it hard to settle in the area, and wanted to move back up to Scotland.
On 31 January 2011, Smith signed for Aberdeen on loan for the remainder of the 2010–11 season. Aberdeen manager Craig Brown said he would like to offer Smith a contract for the 2011–12 season, but due to increased wage demands (following Norwich City's promotion) Aberdeen looked to have been priced out of a move.
Preston North End
On 12 August 2011, Smith joined Preston North End on a free transfer. He signed a one-year deal with the club, including an option of a further year. However, after an unsuccessful spell, Smith had his contracted mutually terminated on 10 April 2012, just two months before his original deal was due to expire.
Return to Rangers
Following his release from Portland Timbers, Smith was linked with a return move to St. Mirren and Kilmarnock, however after training with Rangers a move was agreed on 1 June 2013 The move was confirmed by the club when he signed a two-year contract and was be registered to play for Rangers on 1st Sept 2013.On 3 May Rangers players made history by becoming the first Rangers side in 115 years to go an entire league season unbeaten after a 1–1 draw with Dunfermline during which they clinched the Scottish League One championship. Smith made his 100th appearance for Rangers (over both spells) in November 2014 in a 1–1 draw at Ibrox against Alloa Athletic. In his 101st appearance against Hearts he got sent off in the 21st minute leading to a 2-0 loss.
Smith played twice for the Scotland under-21 football team. He was due to be selected for the Scotland squad for 2008 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying matches against France and Ukraine in October 2006, but a thigh injury prevented this. He also played for the Scotland B team in their 0–0 draw with the Republic of Ireland B team on 14 November 2006, at the Dalymount Park, Dublin.
- As of 17 August 2015
|Rangers||2004–05||Scottish Premier League||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|Norwich City||2010–11||Football League Championship||7||0||0||0||0||0||–||7||0|
|Aberdeen (loan)||2010–11||Scottish Premier League||16||0||4||0||0||0||–||20||0|
|Preston North End||2011–12||Football League One||13||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||15||0|
|Portland Timbers||2012||Major League Soccer||21||0||1||0||–||–||22||0|
|Rangers||2013–14||Scottish League One||13||2||1||1||0||0||2||0||16||3|
- Scottish Football League (October 2004). The Bell's Scottish Football Review 2004/05. CRE8. ISBN 0-9548556-0-4.
- "Rangers give Smith new deal". Sky Sports. 27 February 2006.
- "Top youth Smith praises McLeish". BBC Sport website. 5 May 2006.
- "Gers keeper agrees deal" Sky Sports. 27 October 2006.
- "Rangers 2–0 Dunfermline Athletic". BBC Sport. 11 November 2006.
- "Smith's targeting Rangers return". BBC Sport. 20 November 2007.
- "Rangers 1–1 Partick Thistle" BBC Sport. 19 March 2008.
- "Czech and Ranger In Cardiff City Trials" Vital Football (25 March 2009)
- "Rangers 3–1 Motherwell" BBC Sport. 11 April 2009.
- "Norwich swoop for Rangers' Smith". BBC Sport. 2 June 2010.
- "Aberdeen sign Steven Smith on loan from Norwich". BBC Sport. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- "Preston Sign Left Back Smith". Preston North End FC. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
- "Timbers sign Scottish defender Steven Smith". Portland Timbers Official Website. 25 April 2012.
- "MONTREAL IMPACT VS. PORTLAND TIMBERS 2 – 0". Soccerway. 28 April 2012.
- "Twitter: Portland Timbers and Steven Smith Part Ways". StumpTown Footy. 3 December 2012.
- "Timbers re-sign three, exercise options on eight players". Portland Timbers Official Website. 6 December 2012.
- "Rangers double up as Ally McCoist fills defensive void". Scottish Daily Express. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "Rangers: Steven Smith permanent return possibility". Scotsman. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "Rangers: Defender Stevie Smith agrees to rejoin Ibrox club". BBC Sport. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Bhardwaj, Raman (2 July 2015). "Kilmarnock sign Steven Smith after defender's release from Rangers". STV Sport. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- "Smith denied chance for Scotland". BBC Sport (BBC). 5 October 2006.