ALISTAIR Smith says he has a lot of respect for former club Colchester United – but insists he will not treat the prospect of facing them on the opening day any differently.

Smith will take on the U’s in the first game of the new League Two season after joining AFC Wimbledon on a season-long loan from Lincoln City.

The 25-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan at Colchester, making 15 appearances and helping them stay in the division.

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However, Smith – who had been linked with a permanent return to the U’s this summer - insists there will be no room for any sentimentality when he faces his old club at Plough Lane, on August 10.

Smith told the AFC Wimbledon website: “I’m just going to look at that as any other game.

“Obviously I had a great time there and I’ve a lot of respect for them, but it’s just another game for me - I’m not going to be taking the foot off the gas.

“I’m just going to look at it as a team we need to get three points from.


“It’s not my first rodeo in League Two. I’ve done about three seasons, properly, playing week in, week out - so I definitely know what it takes to be successful at this level.

“It’s a lot of hard work, it’s a very fast paced league and it’s somewhere I have no doubt I’ll be able to fit right in.

“In the position I’m in and the age that I’m at, there were some options.

“I could have signed for a couple of clubs, obviously I had to pick one, but I weighed up those options and I think I’ve picked the right club.”

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Smith will play under another former Colchester midfielder, Johnnie Jackson, at Wimbledon.

The former Mansfield Town youngster says he is looking forward to helping the Dons at both ends of the pitch.

“I’m an all-action midfielder,” added Smith.

“I’d describe myself as very much a box-to-box number eight.


“I like to chip in with some goals and I also like to do the hard work as well, doing the yards that earn those goals - helping in both boxes.

“The management here know my profile as a player, which was quite evident when speaking to them.

“I think it’s all about me using my strengths in this team and it should work well with the type of players in the team as well.

“I’m looking to use my athleticism and energy out there and to help the team out at both ends.”