The boss on the most recent Academy graduate to earn a pro deal...
Liam Smyth has become the latest Stevenage Academy player to be awarded a professional contract, following impressive displays for both the U18s and the First Team.
Embracing the club’s culture of youth progression, Dino Maamria has made Smyth his second Academy signing since taking over as Manager earlier this year.
“I didn’t know anything about Liam until I started watching the youth team games and he kept popping up, scoring goals,” Maamria said.
“I brought him up here and he has trained well. He played in and scored a fantastic hat-trick in a Herts Senior Cup game and you can’t overlook that as the Manager of the Football Club. I have given him a few games with the senior boys since and he has done really, really well.
“We are trying to build this pathway between the Academy and First Team and he has been brilliant since stepping up.”
Maamria says that Smyth’s character should ensure that he fulfils his potential at the football club.
“He is a really good kid so I am sure he will listen and take on board our advise. He is only 17 so he has so much more to learn but he is a goalscorer and we want to make sure we develop and improve him.
“All of his game needs to improve. He has got a good frame on him but he is young and what we are looking for is potential, which he has certainly got.
“The hardest thing in football is scoring goals and he has shown he has that knack. It is fantastic for us, fantastic for him and I am sure we will see him making one or two starts this season.”