Goalkeeper departs ‘The Yorkshire Club’
- Alex Smithies departs Huddersfield Town
- Goalkeeper signs for Queens Park Rangers
- Manager Chris Powell comments on Alex's departure
Huddersfield Town can confirm that Alex Smithies has today completed a transfer to Queens Park Rangers.
An undisclosed seven figure deal was agreed with Rangers on Monday after negotiations over the weekend, which started on Friday.
Alex travelled to London on Monday and completed his medical on Thursday.
Born in Huddersfield, Alex – now 25 years old – is a graduate of the Club’s Academy.
He was the Club’s longest serving current player and with total of 272 starts for the Club, plus two substitute appearances.
The goalkeeper was initially added to the First Team squad ahead of the League 1 visit of Luton Town in late September 2007 following a foot problem for Simon Eastwood and quickly made the place as understudy to Matt Glennon his own towards the end of the season.
Caretaker boss Gerry Murphy introduced Alex to the first team following the dismissal of Manager Stan Ternent in November 2008 and he didn’t looked back and being linked with several Premiership clubs before signing a new long-term deal at the Club.
Alex was ever present throughout the 2009/10 season, keeping 16 clean sheets and earning the Football League's 'Young Player of the Month' award in February 2010 along the way.
Unfortunately his 2010/11 campaign was punctuated by injury, restricting him to just 27 appearances. Alex didn't shake his injury issues until late into the 2012/13 season either, but he finished on a massive high. An injury to Ian Bennett meant he played in the Play-Off Final win over Sheffield United at Wembley - and he netted the winning penalty in the dramatic sudden-death shoot-out to send his home-town club into the Championship, and secured his own place in the Club’s history.
Smithies enjoyed an excellent 2013/14 debut season in the Championship, starting 50 games and winning the 'Player's Player of the Year' award at the 2014 Annual Awards.
Another 45 Sky Bet Championship appearances in 2014/15, plus his start in this season’s opener at Hull City, has taken him to a total of 272 starts. Over the years he has attracted interest from clubs but the club has been unwilling to see him leave.
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell commented:
“We’re sad to see Alex leave, but he departs with our best wishes and gratitude for his excellent service to Huddersfield Town as our number one goalkeeper over the course of seven seasons.
“Alex has been a superb professional during my time at the Club and is a top goalkeeper.
“However, this is the nature of professional football at all clubs, not just here; players move on, even at the very top level. Players do not stay at one club forever.
“Alex’s move, and the money it brings, gives us an opportunity for me to strengthen our squad if there is a player available who is right for the Club. We’ll look at our goalkeeping situation, but we will also look at other areas of the team too.”