BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Former Hearts striker Gordon Smith has flown to Australia after deciding it was a case of ‘now or never’ to realise a dream of playing abroad.
The 24-year-old has agreed a season-long deal with National Premier League side ECU Joondalup after securing his early release from Dumbarton.
The striker had spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Cowdenbeath but was keen to ‘try something different’ and was offered the opportunity to go Down Under thanks to a former team-mate of his Dad, Gordon, who also played professionally.
With the Australian season getting under way next month, Smith had a decision to make on his future – and he confesses a wintry day at Central Park in November helped convince him to head to the other side of the world.
Speaking to Capital City Press on Monday before boarding his first of two flights to Perth, he said: “I was speaking to a few teams and I had a couple of contacts out in Australia.
“Willie Herd, who used to play with my Dad at Falkirk, is a youth coach there and he put my name forward, and they were itching to get me.
“I was offered a decent deal and a flight over there, and they’re going to give me coaching to do as well, and I just thought ‘why not go for it?’.
“It was just a case of speaking to Colin Nish at Cowdenbeath and sorting things out with Dumbarton.
“I’ve loved playing in Scotland but I’ve always wanted to try playing somewhere else, in a different country.
“A couple of months ago when we played Arbroath the weather ruined the game. The ball was off the pitch every 30 seconds and when the weather’s like that it’s hard to play football.
“I just thought to myself why not try something different, with different weather? I’m buzzing.
“It was either now or never, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve done it. I could have stayed at Cowdenbeath again or tried something different.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve not got any commitments, I’ve not got a wife or anything like that, and I can’t wait to get started.”