cheltenham town

Free agent on trial with League One club after Hearts exit

Cheltenham Town have taken Michael Smith on trial following his departure from Heart of Midlothian, as per a report by GloucestershireLive.

Cheltenham Town are casting their eyes over the free agent and he played for the League One side in their pre-season friendly against Bristol City on Tuesday evening.

Smith, 34, is available after cutting ties with Hearts at the end of last season after his contract expired and he is weighing up his next move in the game.

The Robins’ boss Wade Elliott has told GloucestershireLive: “Michael is local and he was looking for somewhere to come in a train and it fitted in with us. In fairness, for someone who hasn’t had any minutes, I thought he managed himself really well.

“It’ll be ongoing. He’s only been in for two days, match prep yesterday and he’s played tonight. He’s a good character, so if it works for Michael and for us, we’ll monitor as it goes.”

Cheltenham looking at trialist

Smith is a vastly experienced player and has made 441 appearances in his career to date, finding the net 14 times from defence. He would add more competition and depth to Cheltenham’s squad if they decide to lodge him an offer.

The fact he is a free agent also means he would be a free-risk addition as they wouldn’t be forking out a transfer fee to sign him.

Smith started out at Ballycale Comrade and Ballymena United before moving over to England as a youngster to pursue a career in the Football League. He was snapped up by Bristol Rovers in 2011 and spent three years with the Gas, playing 114 games altogether during his time at the Memorial Ground.

The Northern Ireland international, who has made 19 caps for his country, then had three seasons at Peterborough United before moving up to Scotland in 2017. He enjoyed plenty of game time with Hearts and played 202 matches during his spell in Edinburgh, helping the Jam Tarts win promotion from the Scottish Championship in 2021.

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Cheltenham Town, Free agent on trial with League One club after Hearts exit

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