WEMBLEY hero Alex Smithies accepts it’s back to square one for him and for Huddersfield Town as they approach their first game of the new season tonight.
The 22-year-old has had plenty of time to reflect on the events of Saturday, May 26, when he played the starring role in Town’s dramatic penalty shoot-out victory for promotion.
Those memories will live on for a lifetime, but Smithies is determined to create more with a new-look Town squad under Simon Grayson – starting with the Capital One Cup first round clash against Preston at Deepdale tonight (7.45).
"We were having a laugh in training the other day because we were having a penalty shoot-out and I saved Jack Hunt’s kick," said Smithies.
"I just said to him ‘have you any idea how many times I’ve seen where you put your penalties?’
"It’s fair to say I’ve watched the DVD from Wembley a few times, but it’s time to move on and try to progress ourselves in the Championship this season."
But you’ll surely never get tired of watching that victory over Sheffield United?
"Probably not, because those are the memories you cherish and that’s why you train so hard, because you want to have memories like that and, hopefully, there will be more to come."
Smithies is excited by this coming season and meeting two challenges – one to keep the No1 shirt and secondly to help Town establish themselves as a Championship force.
"I’m very excited, we all are," explained the England age-group player who, after terrible injury problems hasn’t missed a training session since December.
"It’s a new challenge for all the players who were here last year and it’s a new squad that we’ve got together, so we’re all hoping we can prove ourselves at this level and it all feels good.