Sammie Szmodics looking forward to a big year at Colchester United
PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 January 2015
The year 2015 is a big year for Colchester United, and a big one for Sammie Szmodics.
U’s Academy product Szmodics broke back into the senior team, for last Sunday’s frustrating goalless draw at Crawley, and is set to retain his place for this evening’s trip to Cardiff City.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder came of age, during 2014. Now he is looking to kick on and make a name for himself, starting with this eagerly-awaited FA Cup third round tie in South Wales.
And Szmodics is brimming with confidence, despite Cardiff’s big-club status.
“We’re all excited to be playing in this game,” enthused Szmodics.
“Cardiff were in the Premier League last season, but hopefully we can get into the next round.
“We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. They are the big team, but we have no fear – we’ll just be going there to play our football.”
Szmodics was preferred to Craig Eastmond, in central midfield, for last weekend’s relegation showdown at Crawley, during which Tony Humes’ men hit the woodwork four times in a 0-0 draw.
That result left the U’s four points adrift of League One safety, going into 2015 and the second half of the season. Szmodics will be looking to play a key role in dragging the U’s out of the relegation mire, alongside the Essex club’s cup run.
“Where we are in the league is not the best,” admitted Szmodics.
“But I think we’re playing some unbelievable football, the best we have played for a long while, and it was unbelievable that we didn’t win the game at Crawley.
“Personally, I’m delighted to have got back into the team, after training really hard, and hopefully I’ve done enough to start at Cardiff as well.
“I’m still young, but I’ll be looking to establish myself in the team over the next year.
“2015 will be a good year for me to knuckle down, get my head down, and tie down a starting place in this team.
“I’m 20 next September, so I want to start playing regularly, rather than keep coming on as a substitute, and that’s only going to come through hard work.”
Szmodics notched his 24th senior appearance, at Crawley, although 19 of these have come as a substitute.
He continued: “This last year has been good for me. If someone had said to me, this time last year, that I was going to be playing in the first team, then I wouldn’t have believed them.
“It’s just happened through hard work. I scored my first goal at Gosport Borough (6-3 win in the FA Cup in November), and followed it up with a goal against Gillingham (2-1 defeat on Boxing Day) last week.
“To begin with, being so young, I struggled a little with confidence, but as you get to know the boys, you get to know them off the pitch as well as on it. My confidence is sky-high now.
“None of the lads are afraid to give me the ball, they trust me, so I’m loving it.
“Every player is best when they have got the ball, and because I’m little I can get into short gaps and get on the ball with quick feet.”