A chance meeting between Lee Smith and Adam Dix started with the two catching up but ended with the former Gloucester City man agreeing to join Stroud League club Tredworth Tigers as player/joint manager.
Smith makes the move three months after initially joining Hellenic Premier side Tuffley Rovers, but the forward is looking towards the next chapter of his footballing story as he looks to take on a side of his own.
We caught up with Smith after his side’s 2-2 draw with Old Richians yesterday, in which he made his on the field debut for his latest club.
“As I have talked to Severn Sport about before, I have been starting to look at the coaching and management side of things. I bumped into Adam Dix and he asked if I was interested in getting involved and after a long think, I think it’s a good fit for me.
I went along yesterday and met up with the lads and they have a good squad. I’ll be trying to add a few new players to improve where needed but they have a great core of players in place already.”
Smith has signed on as a player as well as being joint first team manager with current boss Dix. Tredworth find themselves currently sat 7th in Stroud League Division One and due to a strong start the top two sides, Charfield and Kings Stanley – who are no fewer than 14 points ahead of the trailing pack, Smith admits the rest of the season is all about building for the 2019/20 campaign.
“Charfield and Kings Stanley are the two teams who will fight for the title of course but I’ll be looking for us to close the gap as much as possible. Really for us it is about trying to get to the cup finals along with trying to finish as strong as possible. Realistically we will be looking to be title contenders next season for sure.”
The Tigers are no strangers to being at the top of the division, after leading the way for so long of the 2017/18 season before ultimately finishing 3rd behind champions Barnwood United and Frampton United Reserves. Their reserve side however, capped off an unbeaten season by winning both the league and cup double.
Smith joins Dix in charge of the side and will provide experience to a side that has continued to improve since Dix took over as manager in the 2013/14 season. Having played for so many coaches and managers, Smith is optimistic he can make the transition over the coming months.
“I am a bit of a moaner but I’ll be attacking that is for sure. Obviously I will have to get to know the lads more and learn what I can do to get the best out of them. Formation wise I am definitely a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 man though.
I think I have played under some big managers and coaches so I can take a bit of each one of them but I am my own person and have my own thoughts when it comes to the game. I think it is good for me starting at Stroud Division One level to get my feet in and be so hands on with the club as a whole. In time we can see what happens but this project I have now in front of me with Tredworth Tigers is exciting and we will be aiming for promotion as early as next season, 100%.”
Smith ended by thanking Adam Dix for giving him the opportunity as well as thanking Tuffley Rovers and manager Mark Pritchett for the chance at Glevum Park.
“When I joined Tuffley they had a lot of games at home but when the away games came I struggled to be available every week. I enjoyed my time there and I gave Pritch [Tuffley manager Mark Pritchett] and the lads my whole commitment but when I started missing games it wasn’t fair on them. I didn’t want to do that to him or the club.
I really do hope they stay up, they are a great bunch but now my focus is on Tredworth and the opportunity Adam [Dix] has given me, and for that I am very thankful.”
Smith and his new side start 2019 with a tough home game against 2nd placed Kings Stanley next Saturday, before a trip to Randwick in the GFA County Cup the following Saturday.
*Cover photo courtesy of Andrew Jackson