Portsmouth boss reveals how Dan Smith’s loan switch to Cork City happened
Kenny Jackett has lifted the lid on how Dan Smith’s loan switch to Cork City came to fruition.
The Pompey boss revealed he recommended the fledgling striker to Rebel Army boss John Caulfield – who opted to take a chance on transfer deadline day.
The academy graduate had been at Bostik League premier division outfit Bognor earlier this campaign, scoring 12 goals in 21 appearances.
Jackett felt that Smith was ready to move up the footballing pyramid after impressing at Nyewood Lane.
That’s exactly what the 19-year-old will face in Eire.
And the Blues manager feels Smith has a superb opportunity to continue his encouraging development.
Jackett said: ‘We’ve been over there many times, myself and Joe Gallen with different clubs.
‘We know that club, that league and people there. It’s where the recommendation has come from.
‘It got to deadline day and, as you do, they took a chance on a centre-forward. It is a great chance for him.
‘We’ve had him on loan at Bognor and it’s been getting him into men’s football from junior football.
‘This is quite clearly a step up. At the right stage, they can get 6,000 fans at Cork in that league.
‘It’s a really good chance for Dan. No disrespect to men’s football locally, but it’s what he needs now if he can get a chance there.
‘They’re at the start of their season and it’s quite a good thing to do for young players to play summer football.
‘There’s not quite the pressure that first-team football has and you don’t quite need the summer that maybe the senior players do.
‘We’ve got him there until the end of June, so in early July he can come back with us.
‘Similarly, it can be extended if it’s needed to .
‘The opportunity is a good one for Dan to go to Cork. It’s a club I have got a lot of time for and if he can go to that league, compete and hold your own as a teenager then you’ve done very well.’
Smith has joined one of the League of Ireland’s top sides.
They finished second in the table last season, as well as being beaten by Dundalk in the FAI Cup final.
Smith made his debut for the Turners Cross outfit when coming off the bench in their 2-1 win over Sligo last Monday.
While regular minutes are no guarantee, Jackett feels the move will do Smith’s progress the world of good.
The boss added: ‘There are many players that come out of the League of Ireland and go into the Football League.
‘There will be a queue of people wanting to go over and watch him!
‘There are many good teams in Ireland and Cork is one of them.
‘Similarly, there is a variation of clubs and players but you can’t say there aren’t good players in there.
‘The big thing, I think, is they’re all hard games. Winning matters, there’s focus on it, TV coverage and fans.
‘It’s the competitive side you don’t get at youth levels.
‘It’ll be interesting if John gives him a chance but either way it’s good for Dan and I look forward with interest to see how he does.’