Like most people this season, Gary Smith won’t be too upset when the final minutes of this year tick away and we welcome 2021 into our lives.
The Tamworth co-boss has overseen a unique season in the dugout.
A promotion dream in tatters, fans out, fans in, then fans back out again.
And with the current campaign edging ever closer to another screeching halt, Lambs legend Smith is looking on the bright side.
“If I look back at our record over this year, we have to be proud. We’ve gone out and won a lot of football matches,” Smith said.
“We’ve produced some fantastic football – sometimes I stand on the touchline and I’m glowing with pride because of the way the team is playing.
“The style of football that we play delights me. The way we’ve developed some of the players is something to be proud of too.
“The younger players we’ve drafted in have been brilliant. We’ve shown no fear drafting in the academy players. Those things are the most pleasing thing for me. It speaks volumes for the club.
“The young players are the future of the football club, we know that. I’ve said it before, there’s no point of having an academy if there’s nothing coming through it.
“We’re lucky that we’ve got people like Mike Fowler and his team who produce some fantastic players,” he added.
“If I started reeling off names we’d be here for a while. It would be pointless for us to not use the academy.
“Those players are the future of the club and while we’re here as a management team we’ll make sure we continue to develop them and bring them through to the first team.”
There’s even positives to be had off the field. While the prolonged pause in the season is no good for Tamworth’s on the field fortunes, Smith is looking forward to putting his feet up in the coming weeks.
He said: “Football people up and down the country won’t know what’s hit them with no games on Boxing Day.
“With how it’s been this year, it’s not a bad thing that we’ve got time to take to focus on our family and make sure everyone is ok – that’s the main thing.
“I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy it.”
(Main Image – Kieran Riley)