Play-offs the target for new Peterhead striker Smith ahead of League One campaign

Peterhead new boys Scott Hooper, middle, and Aidan Smith, right.
Picture by Heather Fowlie
Peterhead new boys Scott Hooper, middle, and Aidan Smith, right. Picture by Heather Fowlie

Aidan Smith hopes he can help fire new club Peterhead into the League One play-off picture.

The striker has joined the Blue Toon on a one-year deal from Annan Athletic.

After hitting 14 goals last term for the Galabankies, Smith is relishing a step up to Scottish football’s third tier.

The 22-year-old believes his new side have the quality to be in play-off contention, and he hopes to play his part in making that a reality.

Smith said: “One of the big reasons for joining the club has to be playing in League One.

“It’s a new challenge for me and I want to better myself.

“That’s one of the big reasons for me coming to Peterhead.

“Last season playing for Annan I saw Peterhead were a good side and tough to beat.

“We only won once in four games against them and I felt the Peterhead games were the hardest we had at Annan last season.

“I relish the step up to League One personally because it’s the only way you’re going to get better is by stepping up.

“I’m hopeful I’ll be able to progress again in League One.

“I think the play-offs have got to be the aim for us – if we don’t aim high there’s no point in being here.

“I feel from what I’ve seen that we have a squad here who can achieve that target.”

Going from Annan means Smith has swapped being just 20 minutes from training and home games to having a round trip of just shy of 500 miles to get to Balmoor for Peterhead’s home fixtures.

However, the extra travel isn’t a problem for the former Queen of the South man.

The Blue Toon players based in the south west of the country (Greg Fleming, Sam Henderson, Willie Gibson and summer signing Scott Hooper) commute together in a club car.

Smith added: “I’m from Dumfries so it’s a fair amount of travelling – but it doesn’t phase me.

“The club really look after us, the boys in the south west have a club car.

“Things like that make it a lot easier and that’s important when you join a club.

“They put us up in a hotel before home games to save us travelling so much on a Saturday.

“Annan is 20 minutes from my front door, so it would have been easy to carry on with them.

“But if you’re not willing to travel and push yourself, you won’t progress.”

Smith is still developing as a player, but he believes he has picked the right place to improve.

Aidan Smith in action.

One of the reasons for that is that he will be training and playing alongside experienced attackers Rory McAllister, 32, and Derek Lyle, 38, who have netted over 400 goals between them in their careers.

Smith is looking forward to learning from the duo and said: “Playing with Rory and Derek will be good for me because I know I’ll learn a lot of them.

“I played with Derek a few years ago at Queen of the South and learned a lot from him then.

“Hopefully that can continue and I can learn from Rory as well.”

Smith’s first chance to turn out for the Blue Toon will be on Wednesday July 3 when Aberdeen are the visitors to Balmoor for a pre-season friendly.