At the age of 35, Yann Kermorgant is still twinkling in the twilight of his career… at a little over half of Yann's age, teammate Sam Smith is still a fledgling!
Academy graduate Smith put in a couple of good shifts on his first two Sky Bet Championship starts, coming against Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest at Madejski Stadium… unfortunately a knock in the latter game ruled him out of a visit to Derby.
But Kermorgant is delighted to see the way that Smith has quickly adapted to the rigours of senior-level football, and reiterated his desire to lead the way for his younger teammates.
“I’m really pleased for him,” Yann said. “That’s how it is in football: you get chances when you’re young when other players are injured or suspended. When you get a chance, you have to take it and show the manager you are good enough to be involved.
“Sam did well and did some good things. He needs to work and to learn, and to listen to old guys like me! He’s a good lad and it’s good for him to get some experience. He’ll definitely be part of the team this season.
“If my teammates get better, it’s better for the team, for me, for everybody. We have to help each other.
“Of course I have experience in the Championship, so with players like Sam who have come from the Academy and who don’t yet have experience at a high level, it’s important for people like me to make sure that he’s listening, that he is confident, and most importantly that he continues to play his game and work hard!”