Outgoing Cardiff City goalkeeper Alex Smithies admits he’s sad to be leaving the capital but admits sweeping changes are needed over the summer if the Bluebirds are to elevate themselves up the Championship table next season.
Smithies is one of a number of players out of contract this summer, with boss Steve Morison already confirming his departure ahead of what is expected to be a summer of mass upheaval. Smithies has sat out the last seven league games of the season ahead of his impending exit, but will likely be one of the most notable departures in this transfer window.
Despite his recent absence from the first team, the 32-year-old was recently named as the Players’ Player of the Year at the club’s annual awards, and says he leaves the Bluebirds with a heavy heart.
READ MORE:The 21 Cardiff City players who are or could be leaving this summer and the massive rebuild Steve Morison is embracing
Commenting on his award, he told Cardiff City TV : “To be recognised by the players in the team is massive. It’s such a big honour and there’s a great set of lads here.
“I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s a shame it’s ended. There are some fantastic people at this club. The whole club, the staff, the players. I’ve absolutely loved it. And just the people of south Wales.
“Being in that dressing room and spending a full season where there’s lots of ups and downs and we’ve all been through it together. So to be regarded highly by your team-mates is massive and I’m really pleased with this.
“It’s a really good group of lads. It’s not been a great season overall and probably me winning this is an indication of that. But we’ve had some enjoyable moments as well.”
But while disappointed to leave, Smithies says he accepts that the club needs a fresh start in order to move forward, after what he admits has been a poor campaign.
“There’s going to be lots of changes at the club,” he said. “Me being one of them, which is sad for me on a personal note. But there will be plenty of players that will be sad to leave the club. It’s an amazing club, one that we’ve all enjoyed playing for. But clubs move on and this is just part of the evolution of Cardiff.
“Changes do need to be made seeing where we are this season. But I’ll look back fondly on my time here. We need to see Cardiff higher up the table and hopefully that’s what they’re aiming for.”