Smith determined to become a regular for Luton once more

Hatters midfielder Jonathan Smith
Hatters midfielder Jonathan Smith
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Midfielder Jonathan Smith is determined to make himself a regular in the Luton side once more this season.

The 29-year-old, who is Town’s longest serving player at the club now after the summer departures of Jake Howells, Mark Tyler and Alex Lawless, made 41 appearances in all competitions last term.

“The aim is for me to come back as strong and as fit as I can be to prove myself to Nathan. It’s a big season for me.”

Jonathan Smith

However, he only started 11 of new boss Nathan Jones’ 21 games in charge, and wants to become a permanent fixture once more.

Smith, who has played 141 times for Town since joining in November 2012, told the club’s official website: “I was in last Monday for my first fitness tests after some of the lads were in the previous week, then we all return at the back-end of next week for more ahead of pre-season,

“We’ve had our individual programmes to stick to through the close season and the big thing for me this year, with the manager coming in when he did, is to prove to him I’m worth a place in his team every week.

“Ever since I came to the club I’ve been a regular.

“We had a change of manager when John Still took over from Paul Buckle, and he picked me pretty much every week when I was fit.

“The aim is for me to come back as strong and as fit as I can be to prove myself to Nathan. It’s a big season for me.”

Hatters will find out who their opponents will be on the opening day of the season next week when the Sky Bet EFL League Two fixtures are announced.

It’s something that Smith is looking forward too as well, saying: “Once you get the fixtures it all starts to become real again and the excitement starts to hit home.

“Since I’ve been at the club we’ve had Southport, Carlisle and Accrington away on the opening day, so it’ll probably be Hartlepool this year!

“In all seriousness, it’s better to get the longer trips out of the way when the weather is good and there is less chance of a late postponement.

“But really it doesn’t matter who you get first up; everyone is up for it and it’s like a cup tie, you never know how it’s going to go.

“Last year everyone thought a trip to Accrington would be a good chance of getting off to a flyer with three points, but in the end we were grateful for one and the way their season panned out in reaching the play-offs, it turned out to be a good one.”

Smith was credited with the equaliser that day in a 1-1 draw, as he added: “It wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination. Macca (Craig Mackail-Smith) caught it well, I was running in the six-yard box and it hit me on the chest and went in.”