Oldham's Smith enjoys journey

Oldham striker Matt Smith has reflected on his journey from a student "slum" in Manchester to a back-page headline-maker.

Last Updated: 28/01/13 at 18:27

Matt Smith: Relishing his recent success

Matt Smith: Relishing his recent success

Latics hero Smith tried to put Sunday's two-goal match-winning performance to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup into perspective on Monday.

Just over 18 months ago, the 23-year-old was playing non-league football for Solihull Moors after spells at Redditch and Droylsden once he had completed his education.

Having originally been released by Cheltenham aged 18 and choosing to take a degree - International Management with American Studies at the University of Manchester, where he shared kick-abouts with comedian Jack Whitehall - he could appreciate more than most the achievement in knocking out the seven-time winners from the Premier League.

"Without a doubt, this is my career highlight. I won't be forgetting this for a very long time," he said.

"The days of living in student slums in Fallowfield, playing part-time football on £80-a-week is a big difference to finding yourself playing Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

"From my position it is easier to appreciate these victories because I am fully aware of reality so I am absolutely over the moon.

"I always wanted to play football every since I was a youngster but I took the academic route and I was not sure it would ever happen.

"But I never gave up hope and even at university I always tried to play at the highest level of non-league football I could.

"Just one good season and I get a move to a League One side and then you push and push.

"It is dedication and hard work and that bit of belief when maybe other people don't believe in you - self-determination and self-belief takes you a long way."

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I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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