Oldham Athletic’s Matt Smith swaps Boundary Park for Elland Road as giant striker seals Leeds United move

By Matthew Lees

Oldham Athletic’s FA Cup hero Matt Smith has crossed the Pennines to join Championship side Leeds United on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract.

The 24-year-old, who joined Latics in May 2011, will officially move to Elland Road on July 1 and is Leeds’ first summer signing – penning a two-year deal.

Manager Lee Johnson admitted he was ‘resigned’ to losing Smith after his barnstorming FA Cup performances on national TV made him a wanted man.

The 6ft 6in striker scored four times in ties against Premier League giants Liverpool and Everton as Oldham reached the FA Cup fifth round, their best performance since 1994.

He also helped Athletic secure their League One status with a three goals in a week against Bury, Yeovil Town and Crawley and a 96th minute equaliser against Sheffield United in October.

Despite finishing the season with 11 goals, Smith was mainly used as a substitute, starting only 21 times in his Oldham career which included a loan spell at Macclesfield Town.

The University of Manchester graduate started his career as a trainee at Cheltenham Town before being released at the age of 18.

While studying he played non-league football for Droylsden, Redditch United and Solihull Moors before Latics gave him his first professional contract.

He leaves Boundary Park having scored 14 goals in 75 games.

Image courtesy of ITV Sport, via YouTube, with thanks

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