GAME AT THE LANE WOULD CAP HARRY’S RAPID RISE...
LAST season Harry Smith was playing for Folkestone Invicta in Ryman Division One South.
Next Sunday the 21-yearold could be playing for Millwall in an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
Such has been the turnaround in the life of the towering striker that nothing would surprise him. It may well be that the vastly experienced Steve Morison is fit and available to lead the line against Spurs after a groin problem, but Smith is just happy to be in the mix.
He said: “It’s the last ever FA Cup game at White Hart Lane and there will be 4,000odd Millwall fans so it would be pretty much a dream to play there.
“Whoever the manager picks, we’ll be confident we can go there and cause an upset. If he picks me, then brilliant.”
Smith has made a decent start to his pro career. He’s already netted six goals across league, FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy – including a hat-trick in a 5-2 FA Cup second round romp against Braintree.
But he’s the first to admit that he’s still got a lot to work on as he makes the transition from semi-pro football.
“It’s a massive step up,” he said. “It’s not just training, it’s getting used to being a good pro off the pitch as well, being on time, eating the right stuff. It’s been a big jump but I feel like I’m getting there.
“I’m getting minutes back on board now after a few niggly injuries, so hopefully I’ll get up to the speed of things.”
Smith tasted success as Folkestone won Ryman Division One South – the fourth tier of Non-League football – last term and still keeps in touch with his old pals.
“Yeah, I still speak to a few of them,” he said. “They give me their best wishes whenever I’m starting. They give me a few messages, stuff like that.”
So will he be celebrating another promotion at the end of the current season? The 6ft 5ins forward doesn’t see any reason why not – especially with Millwall putting together a 16-match unbeaten run in league and cup prior to the weekend.
“Automatic promotion is the aim – 100 per cent,” he said after the midweek win against Peterborough. “Everyone’s looking for that top two, we’re not looking to cement a play-off place.
“We looked at it tonight, we’re six points behind now. We’ve still got to play Scunthorpe down here, go away to Sheffield United and Rochdale and play a couple more teams around us.
“We’re 16 games unbeaten so we’re definitely aiming for the top two. The way we’re going, we won’t be far off.”
Has he enjoyed as long an unbeaten run before?
“No, nothing like this,” he admitted. “When I was with Folkestone last year we won the league by about 20 points but we didn’t go on a 15, 16game unbeaten run. We lost the odd game here and there.
“It just shows the character we’ve got in the group to go on this sort of run, including beating a few Premier League sides along the way.”