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Stevenage Managers Gary Smith

Smith Nashville SC (USA)
Date Of Birth:

03/12/1968

Place Of Birth:

Harlow


Previous Club(s):

Colorado Rapids (USA)
Arsenal

Later Club(s):

Atlanta Silverbacks (USA)
Colorado Rush (D) (USA)
Nashville SC (USA)


Playing Career:

Aylesbury United, Barnet, Welling United, Wycombe Wanderers, Enfield, Colchester United, Fulham, Arsenal

Boro' Honours:
  • None to report
Complete Record:
P W D L F A Pts* WR%
6722192680877733
Best League:

6th, npower League One (2011/2)

Best FA Cup:

R5 (2011/2)

Best League Cup:

R2 (2012/3)

Best FA Trophy:

n/a


If you had asked Stevenage supporters "who is Gary Smith?" at the time of Graham Westley's departure as manager in January 2012, you'd assume that not many would have come back with anything useful. And that would probably have done a disservice to Smith's managerial record to that point, but Stevenage were to provide the former Arsenal man with his first job in an English dugout.

Smith's playing career spanned 13 years after starting out with the Gunners as a youth. He made the switch across London to Fulham and also had stints with Colchester United and Enfield, before moving to Wycombe Wanderers - arguably where he enjoyed his most successful time on the pitch. But injuries started to have a negative impact on his playing days, and after time at Welling, Barnet and Aylesbury, Smith retired from the playing side of things aged 27.

A career as a coach then beckoned for Smith, who worked at Wimbledon (latterly MK Dons) ahead of a return to Wycombe Wanderers. Roles with Watford and his first club, Arsenal, also followed. But it was in the US where Smith established his credentials, leading Colorado Rapids to MLS Cup glory on a shoestring budget and winning 47 out of 112 matches.

The decision not to renew his contract rankled with Rapids fans and suddenly the name of Gary Smith started cropping up on the radar of clubs this side of the Atlantic. Perhaps it was Phil Wallace's US links that alerted him to his potential, but Boro' moved to bring in a man who knew what it took to win through when others may flaunt greater resources.

After starting with a famous win against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, a succession of draws followed but Smith succeeded in guiding Boro' to the League One playoffs - as well as an FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. The 2012/3 season started brightly and Smith's side briefly hit the top, but a poor run of form through the winter cost Boro's promotion bid and, ultimately, Smith's job.

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