Friday, February 3, 2012

The Return of "Smithy"

As I flicked past the A-League results page on ESPN Soccernet's page this morning, I chanced upon an odd name: a player named “Smithy” apparently started at centre-forward for the Wellington Phoenix in their match against Adelaide on Friday.
Screen dump from ESPN Soccernet

This struck me as odd, as the last guy to make it big in the world of football with that name was (sit down Alan Smith, it's not you) James Corden, who performed as Smithy the plumber for 2009 Comic Relief. It certainly wasn't him; nor was it one of those South American names that sound unusual to the anglophone (Vagner Love?).  Nor had Joel "Smithy" Corey switched codes.

It turns out on closer inspection that the mysterious “Smithy” is US/English footballer Alex Smith who was on the books at FC Dallas before appearing in Australia for Gold Coast FC, Sydney Olympic and recently the Phoenix. Nowhere can I find mention of him changing his name to “Smithy” so either the lads at Soccernet are having a bit of a joke, or there's something about the big Ginger fella we don't know.

On second thoughts, as a second-tier player in a relatively minor league, there's probably a lot about him we don't know.

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