Hartlepool’s teenage starlet out to prove his worth to Ronnie Moore

Connor Smith in action against Whitby Town. Picture by FRANK REID

Connor Smith in action against Whitby Town. Picture by FRANK REID

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Connor Smith is doing all he can to catch the attention of Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore.

The 18-year-old has been on the fringes of the first team for more than a year now but only signed his first professional deal at Victoria Park in the summer.

And Smith has wasted no time in trying to make his mark on Moore ahead of the League Two curtain raiser on August 8, when Morecambe visit town.

The teenager scored the goal of the game in the 4-0 win over Spennymoor Town at the weekend and his form has not gone unnoticed.

Smith, comfortable in midfield and up front, hopes his summer of hard graft pays off.

Moore has deployed him in central midfield so far this pre season, in the friendly games against Whitby Town and Spennymoor.

“I did a lot of work during the off-season in the gym and on my fitness,” said Smith.

“I was determined to give myself the best chance possible of coming back and playing well straight away and so far I am happy with how it is going.

“I have had two pretty good 45 minutes so far, so I am happy with that but I know I need to keep going and keep improving.

“It’s a different position that I’ve been put in during the two games but all I have tried to do is be positive.

“I should have scored at Whitby really so I was glad to get on the scoresheet at Spennymoor.

“All I can do is try to keep playing well and hopefully the manager won’t be able to ignore that and will give me my chance – then it will be down to me to take it.”

As well as working hard away from the training ground, the squad have been also been tested at Maiden Castle, in Durham, and during the week-long stay at Catterick with the Army.

Smith, who has been at the club since the age of 12, added: “I think we have a good fitness base.

“Now it’s all about getting sharper and quicker on the ball – once we’ve managed that we’ll be flying,” added the academy product, who is hoping to quickly add to his nine first team appearances when the 2015-16 campaign gets under way.

The teenager signed his new deal in the summer alongside 18-year-old midfielder Kieran Green, with Moore delighted to tie the pair down to deals to extend their time at Victoria Park.