THE latest youngster to come through the ranks and turn professional at Hartlepool United is planning a summer of hard graft as the club looks to avoid another relegation scrap.
Connor Smith, 17, recently signed his first professional deal alongside 18-year-old Kieran Green, with manager Ronnie Moore delighted to tie the pair down to deals.
This summer is an important one for meConnor Smith
And Smith has revealed he has no plans for a summer holiday, instead grafting hard in the gym and training ground, in order to come back fitter and stronger than ever.
The academy product is also hoping to quickly add to his nine first team appearances when the 2015-16 campaign gets under way. “It’s a brilliant feeling and a great moment for me and my family who are very proud,” said Smith.
“I’ve been with the club since I was an under 14 and this moment makes all the hard work I have put in feel worthwhile – now I know it starts again in pre-season.
“This summer is an important one for me.
“I need to make sure I work as hard as I can because I want to come back in and show my form on a consistent basis straight away.
“I have no holiday plans at all so I will just have a couple of weeks of rest but then my attentions will turn to making sure I am in good shape to come back in July.”
Pools, who were bottom for five months, stayed up in Sky Bet League Two with a game to spare in the end after clawing back a 10-point gap to safety. And Smith is hoping to avoid the need for a Great Escape next season.
He added: “After a long season and being at the bottom of the table for so long it was a massive relief for everyone connected with the club that we got safe and all the lads have done fantastic.
“Obviously we all want to be at the other end of the table this time next year so hopefully we can come back in and get off to a good start.”