Sunderland midfielder joins until the end of the season
Carlisle United have today signed Sunderland midfielder Martin Smith on a loan deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until the end of the season.
Smith, 20, first joined the Sunderland Academy at U8 level and went on to earn a two-year scholarship in the summer of 2012.
The midfielder has since become a key member of the club’s U21 side featuring in the majority of their fixtures this season as team captain, whilst also being named in the first-team squad for the trip to Swansea City.
Smith put pen-to-paper on a new deal at the club until 2016 and scored a stunning free goal from a free kick in United’s 4-0 reserve game victory over Barrow on Tuesday afternoon.
Head of recruitment Lee Dykes said: “Martin has been training with us for a couple of weeks now and that came about through the good links we have with Sunderland. We want to thank Kevin Ball for the part he has played in making this happen because he has given the player a bit of time to show us what he can do.
“He’s a player we knew about anyway because we’ve watched him play for the U21 side on a number of occasions. Having done that, we then wanted to get him into our environment with our players to see if he would fit in.
“His performance in the Barrow game was excellent and we very quickly made the decision that we wanted to take it further. He capped that day with what can only be described as a wonder goal. It was a free kick he won himself and he then dusted himself off before curling it into the top corner. That’s a fantastic technical ability to have.
“We’ve seen already this past few weeks that he has a fantastic work ethic. He stays behind after training and he knows he’s at an age where he needs competitive games. We’re going to give him that chance.”
“This is another deal done from the work we're doing in trying to forge strong links with clubs like Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, QPR and some of the other bigger clubs. We like to feel we can help players like this at the same time as those clubs are helping us by letting us bring them here.
“We’re gaining a reputation as a club which gives players a firm foundation as they take the next steps in their development. We saw it with Brandon [Comley] recently when he came out of the Development Centre at QPR. He's taken his game up another level through playing men’s football because League Two has tested all aspects of his game.
“That’s the next stage Martin will go through and we’re confident, from what we’ve seen, that he will stand up to the challenge.”
Smith will wear shirt number 8.