Young Wolves goalkeeper Jackson Smith could not contain his delight having kept a clean sheet in his first senior outing for the club in the pre-season friendly win over Besiktas.
The stopper had a busy opening few minutes as he was tested from all angles by the Turkish side, but having given Wolves the base they needed, it became a comfortable victory for those in gold and black.
Having been a lively part of the squad which spent the past fortnight in Alicante – including giving a memorable performance of American Pie as his initiation song with the group – Jackson admits it was a dream to finish off the trip by getting the call to go between the sticks for his boyhood club.
On a first senior Wolves outing
“It was brilliantly, honestly. I’ve been at the club a pretty long time now, coming on 15 years and just to be able to get out there, put my shirt on, and play behind a team like that, it’s just an amazing experience and just my dream, ever since I was a kid.
“I always get nervous before a game but there was definitely excitement. “I was absolutely buzzing to be out there, and it was a brilliant experience.
“I know it’s only pre-season but it’s a step in the right way.”
On spending time with the first-team
“It’s been brilliant and the lads have been unbelievable with me. The skipper, Connor, has been class, and all of them have taken me under their wing and it’s been great.
“Obviously, we’ve got a lot of young lads out here as well, so we’ve had our own little group to talk with, but everyone has taken us under their wing, so it’s been brilliant.”
On his initiation song
“You’ve got to be memorable, haven’t you? You’ve got to be memorable, so I thought I’d give it a go. But, like I said, the boys have been brilliant so it’s easy to get up when everyone takes you under the wing like that.
“If it’s a quiet group then it can be quite a nightmare, but they’ve been brilliant, so to get up and sing, I enjoy it, so it’s alright.”
💬 "To be able to put the shirt on and play behind a team like that, it's an amazing experience."— Wolves (@Wolves) July 24, 2022
Well played, Jackson!
On working with the senior keepers
“I’ve come on massively, just since I’ve been here, I’ve learnt so much. Matty [Sarkic] and Jose [Sa] have been training with me and Jimmy [Storer] and some of the things I’ve taken from them already, just little things within the game have been brilliant.
“It’s been a great experience for me and hopefully I can kick on now for the rest of the season, wherever it takes me.”
On aims for this season
“I’m not sure. Hopefully I can get out on loan and play some games. Obviously, I was out on loan last season, so hopefully I can work my way up the ladder and play at a better level.”