Jacob Smith appointed U19s captain

Jacob Smith will begin his captaincy of the U19s against Billingham Synthonia in their opening National League U19 Alliance Division I match on Wednesday.

Smith will captain both the U19s Alliance league side and U18s FA Youth Cup team, as confirmed by manager Neil Ross, the defender having already led out the U18s this season as they progressed through the Cup Preliminary Round last Wednesday.

Ross believes Smith has “the mentality to lead the team at whatever level”, referencing the latter’s impression since debuting for the U23s this season.

Smith’s latest monument follows a strong six months for the defender having completed the pathway from the U19s into the U21s last season to then making his non-competitive debut for the U23s this season as well as training with the first-team.

“When he [Smith] went into training with the first-team, Adam complimented him on his organising and his talking so I think he’s got the general mentality to lead the team at whatever level,” explained Ross. “Obviously, he’s with the U23s now so that gives him that bit more experience.

“It’s been a step up for him but he’s really got his head down and worked on his fitness and he’s obviously now seeing the fruits of his work with the chances he’s getting with the 23s.

“He’s always had it but I think channeling it in the right direction in terms of what information he’s giving out – he’s learning that.

“So Jacob will be leading the team out in the FA Youth Cup and the Youth Alliance.

“There’s a couple we’d consider as leaders in the group – Rhys, TJ. They’re all leaders in their own way, in the changing room they all have their own bits to say. I expect the rest of them to all be leaders out there”.

Smith will lead out, for the first time, the U19s at the Citadel on Wednesday as they host Billingham Synthonia on the first match week of the National League U19 Alliance, 12pm kick-off.