0 users online

Alan Smith takes over at Palace

last updated Tuesday 01st August 2000, 4:40 PM

Fulham today confirmed that Academy Director Alan Smith has left the club to take over as manager of Crystal Palace. Alan Smith

Smith joined Fulham in September 1997 and launched Fulham’s Academy in July 1998. Since then the Under 19 side has twice finished second in its league and last season they reached the semi-final of the Academy League Cup.

Managing Director, Michael Fiddy, announced Smith’s departure, “We are sorry to see Alan leave but we were unable to stand in his way once this opportunity presented itself. Alan has established our Academy structure as one of the best in the country and we thank him for his service.”

Assistant Academy Director, Glenn Cockerill, has also left the club to assist Smith at Crystal Palace.

Talking to Fulham Internet Manager Paul Thorpe earlier today Smith said:

"I’ll be very sorry to leave. I’ve had a great three years here. When I first came there was no Academy and a very brittle youth set-up to say the least. In my three years here I’ve served under five different managers, I’ve particularly enjoyed this stay with Jean Tigana – I think it’s been excellent watching him work. Due to Fulham’s generosity I have been able to travel, see other countries and see how other coaching work.

"I’m never going to lose my love for Fulham, I probably will for the two games we’re going to play this season because my job and reputation will be on the line so we’ll need to take 6 points against Fulham if we can. Nothing’s ever going to stop me coming down to Fulham, my family support the Club. I’ve already spoken to my son an he certainly has no intention of going over to Crystal Palace!

He added:

"In general terms I’ve had a very good time here. I think these are now exiting times for Fulham with Jean, Christian and Roger taking over. This is just something that’s come completely out of the blue for me.

"I now need to take up that challenge. There’s not a lot more I can do with Fulham’s Academy here if I’m quite honest. It’s a pretty smooth operation and I’m not quite sure how much further I could take it. It’s now accepted as one of the best Academies in this country, we even get people coming from abroad to look at it.

"I’ve got to try and take a professional approach, I’ve been offered this job and whilst it’s so easy to sit in a comfort zone, I think this is something that’s going to stretch me having looked a Palace’s pre-season results.

Smith finished by saying:

"Obviously my allegiance will now be with Crystal Palace. They have great supporters and are a good club. Wouldn't it be nice if we could both go up together?"

Source fulham fc
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"