Aldershot sign Portsmouth keeper Phil Smith

Aldershot Town have agreed a deal to sign Portsmouth keeper Phil Smith

Aldershot Town have agreed a deal to sign Portsmouth keeper Phil Smith from 1 August

The 34-year-old will arrive at the Electrical Services Stadium after 18 months at Fratton Park, which followed distinguished spells at Swindon Town and Crawley Town.

Harrow-born Smith made 132 appearances for the Robins in six years, including a run to the League One Play-Off Final in 2010 in which he had been the hero of a penalty shoot-out victory in the semi-final second leg. Prior to that, he made 83 appearances for Crawley in two years, and, from 2002 – 2004, 77 appearances for Margate.

Smith began his career at Millwall, making five appearances as well as enjoying loan spells at Bromley, Ashford Town (Kent), Croydon and Walton and Hersham, before moving to Dover Athletic. In November 2013 he played three games on loan at Dartford. In total Smith has made 350 career appearances and scored one goal.

“Straight away, I was interested in signing. It’s always seemed like a nice place to come and play,” said Smith. “I’ve played here a few times and always thought that I’d like to be involved at some point. When I was in the Conference, it was one of the places that you wanted to play.”

“Aldershot Town are one of the bigger clubs in the Conference and the aim is to get back into the Football League, and for me to be a part of that would be amazing.”

“Phil was somebody that we tried to sign on loan last year,” revealed manager Andy Scott, “and he jumped at the chance. He’s still desperate to play and we’ve finally got him. He distribution is good, he talks well, he’s got physical presence, and he understands the game. We’re hoping that he can bring the steadiness that we need – there’s an aura about him that will hopefully calm our defenders and know that they’ve got smebody assured behind them.

“We kept eleven clean sheets last season and I’d like to get a few more of those. We’ve got plenty of options in defence, with experience and energy, but physically we’re a big side now as well. we are physically imposing without falling short on the energy, and with the quality that we’re bringing in people can see that we can get the best of all those elements into the team. We want to be a big side that can compete but also play as well.”