INTERVIEW: This is a great opportunity for me

We spoke to goalkeeper Jude Smith shortly after he agreed his two-year deal at Brunton Park.

“I’m really happy to be here, and I can't wait to get started,” he said. “It’s obviously a massive club, and I know I've got a huge opportunity.

“I know there's already a couple of good goalies here, so I just want to come in and try and push them, they'll push me, and we all just want what's best for the team.”

“My career so far has been up and down,” he explained. “I was at Celtic until I was 18 and then I had to drop down a step.

“I went and played men's football at East Fife, it was only part-time, but I played men's football for a season. I did really well and I always believed in my ability.

“I then obviously got my move to Newcastle and kicked on from there. I managed to make it into Scotland's 21’s. I've had a couple of injuries, but I’m just looking to push on now and this is a great opportunity for me to do so.

“Newcastle was a great experience and I've learned a lot which will help me through the rest of my career. I’ve been training with the likes of Nick Pope who was in the England squad, Dubravka and Karius as well. They've all been great to me, and a great help, and I've really enjoyed the experience.”

“I think I'm at a stage where I need to try and push and play games now,” he continued. “I’m obviously still young for a goalkeeper, but I need to get my name out there, and it's a perfect opportunity to come and play games, and try and do well, and push on.

“The first aim is obviously to get the team back where they belong, and get promoted again this season. Last season was obviously a struggle, but I think with the manager and the backing of the board and stuff, there's no reason why we can't go and get promoted.

“I can’t wait to come in for pre-season and meet the lads. It’s been a hard few months for me so I just can't wait to get back out and be playing and doing what I enjoy.

“I’m looking forward to meeting Harry and Gabe and starting to work with them. Everywhere I've been I've always had a good relationship with the goalkeepers.

“I've sat down with the goalie coach as well, and he's told me what he wants from me and what he wants from the lads. He wants a good group who are going to push each other, and I think we'll do that, and if we do that then who knows what can happen.”

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