Watford - Tommy Smith on 2003 departure
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Tommy Smith on 2003 departure

New Watford signing Tommy Smith has spoken out on why he left Vicarage Road in 2003 and believes that he is a bigger asset to the club now than he was before his departure.

"It was a very tough decision to leave Watford when I did," Smith told the official site.

"In hindsight, it is one I'm glad I took even though it was hard to move away at a young age. I think I had gone as far as I could at the club at that time."

"Not playing in the semi final told me that and gave me a real kick up the backside and told me that I needed to get on with my career," said Smith, who joined Sunderland on a free transfer a soon after being dropped by former boss Ray Lewington for the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton.

"Getting a fresh start seemed to be the best option for me and I think that has proved to be the case." However, the Hemel Hempstead-born frontman says that in an ideal world he would have never wanted to leave the club.

"Ideally, I would have loved to have stayed here for my whole career and become the best player that Watford have ever had," explained Smith. "But things don't always happen as you want them to."

The former Academy player received a hostile reception from the Hornets faithful whenever he came up against his former club but the 26-year-old says he doesn`t hold it against the fans.

"I don't hold it against the fans for the reaction I got when I came back here playing for other clubs. I expected it really and I think I would have been disappointed if there had been no reaction at all. Strangely, I was quite pleased to see that people were upset that I had left."

Smith, who this week joined Watford on a four-year deal from Derby County, concluded: "I just hope that I can come back now and prove that I am a better player than I was when I left and that I made the right decision to leave when I did and that I've now come back here as a better player and am a bigger asset to the club than I was before."

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday September 1 2006

Time: 5:03PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Lewington could not leave Chopra out of the semi-final side as he scored 4 at Burnley the week before. When Smith left I thought it was no great loss. Hopefully, as he reckons, he is a better player now then when he left.
Report Abuse
01/09/2006 23:04:00

I thought the fans were a bit harsh on Smith when he left –he was a good servant of the club.
Report Abuse
01/09/2006 23:09:00

Report Abuse
02/09/2006 02:35:00

even though he played for derby! i think he is a decent player.
Report Abuse
02/09/2006 10:31:00

Oh look USA, here you are again posting the word relegation on yet another clubs home page.
Report Abuse
03/09/2006 02:39:00

Probably left for £
Report Abuse
03/09/2006 13:34:00

Report Abuse
03/09/2006 19:22:00

But is he returning a better player?
Report Abuse
06/09/2006 23:07:00


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