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Smith pays tribute to Eamonn Dolan following first senior goal

Young striker thanks Eamonn for his support through the Academy...

23 August 2017

Sam Smith says that it 'meant a lot' to him to score his very first senior goal in front of the Eamonn Dolan Stand last night.

Smith, 19, scored Reading's third in the Royals' 3-1 victory against Millwall in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, with the cup tie going to extra time.

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Smith was one of four Academy graduates to play a part in the win at Madejski Stadium, with Axel Andresson, Andy Rinomhota and Danny Loader also involved.

Speaking about moving through the ranks with his fellow Academy starlets, Smith said: "It’s amazing training with them all last year and playing games with them, now moving up to the First Team with them and it’s amazing to see.

"Obviously we want everyone to do well, the more who do well, the better for the club.

"Eamonn Dolan was a big part of that, it was nice to score in front of his stand, that meant a lot to me because he brought me here."

Smith revelled in scoring his first senior goal, which followed spectacular strikes from fellow Mancunian, George Evans, and home debutant Leandro Bacuna on the night.

To clear the hurdle of his first goal in first team football, he added: "It’s massive. It’s just an amazing feeling in front of the fans.

"It’s better to get the result, it was a tough game against a strong Millwall team, but I’m happy we got the win, and obviously the goal!"

Smith was one of the youngsters selected to go on the club's pre-season tour of Holland in July, gaining valuable experience of being in and around the group of senior players.

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"It’s been amazing," Smith enthused. "This season I made the step up to the First Team and went on tour, been on the bench a few times and made my debut the other day (vs Gillingham).

"I’ve just been learning so much, I have to thank the manager because he’s been a big part of it and it’s helped me learn and develop as a player."

The young striker hopes to stay involved with the senior squad even more this season, and aims to be a part of the squad once more when the Third Round of the Carabao Cup takes place in September.

The draw takes place in the small hours of Thursday morning, and Smith hopes for a glamorous tie in the next round.

"Hopefully we can get a big club and go further in the competition, like we did last year. We’ve just got to see what happens really, if we get a big club it’s a good opportunity for everyone at the club, a good experience.

"Hopefully the young lads can be involved again and prove what we can do!"


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