Seaham Red Star have today announced the signing of ex-Sunderland Premier League player Dan Smith from Dunston UTS.
Manager Mark Collingwood officially revealed the news yesterday when speaking about Saturday’s game with Darlington RA, but at that time official league approval was needed.
Smith, 26 and a left-sided player, made three appearances for the Black Cats in the top flight at the end of the 2005/06 season. His most notable appearance though came in the game against Arsenal in which he infamously broke Abou Diaby’s ankle and was almost sued by the club.
Still, there can be little doubt of Smith’s quality. After leaving Sunderland, Smith went North to Aberdeen for three years before returning to the North East where he has played for Gateshead, Blyth Spartans, Darlington 1883 and Dunston.
Collingwood summed up the amazing transfer by saying: “Dan is the best left-sided player in the Sunderland area. It is not everyday Seaham sign a 26 year-old ex-Premier League player.”
Indeed the Seaham manager is delighted with the signing of Smith who joins contracted until the end of the season.
“He’s a top player,” Collingwood said. “We had to beat off competition from first division clubs to get his signature and we had to really convince the sponsor to supplement us so we could afford him.
“It’s a bit of a risk bringing him in but we’re on a bad run of form at the minute and this signing will add quality to the squad and also give the other players a lift.”
It is not just on the pitch where Collingwood is hoping his new signing can make an impact though as he believes he can benefit the club off the pitch too.
He said: “Hopefully this will give the whole club a lift. Hopefully it will raise the profile of Seaham Red Star and perhaps allow us to bring a few more quality players in next season, when we can have a real good crack at this.
“I’d like to think someone might read about this and think Seaham Red Star are back on the map and put some money back into the club through sponsorship. This could be some signing.”
Collingwood also revealed that Smith is likely to start in Saturday’s home fixture with Darlington RA in the Northern League Second Division. Kick-off at Seaham Park is 3pm.