Kane Smith's switch to Stevenage came with the blessing of his old Hitchin Town boss

Kane Smith took advice from former Hitchin boss Mark Burke before his move to Stevenage.

Kane Smith took advice from former Hitchin boss Mark Burke before his move to Stevenage. - Credit: PETER ELSE

A switch to the Football League and Stevenage is the end result of a lot of hard work for Kane Smith - and came after advice and the seal of approval from former boss Mark Burke.

The 26-year-old has spent five years in the National League with Boreham Wood but prior to that he was a precocious talent with Hitchin Town who was courted by a number of clubs without a positive end.

But when it became clear he had options this summer, he turned to his old boss for a guiding arm.

Smith said: "It’s been a long time coming but I needed to make that step up from Boreham Wood and I’m very grateful for the five years I had there.

"It was different at Hitchin with me going on out on trial for a couple of weeks at a time. I wanted something concrete but that was never the case.

"However, I’m delighted to get this over the line and at a great club. 

"I speak to Burkey all the time and knowing I was going somewhere in the summer, I spoke to him before moving about options. 

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"He was great and helped me out a lot. 

"We still all meet up, our team from back then, and it is nice to see them. 

"Obviously I scored against them last week, which wasn’t so good, but they are a great club." 

And the fact it has taken five years may actually be a blessing in disguise as he has arrived at the Lamex with plenty of know-how behind him.

"I’ve played a lot of games and I was out for a year too," he said. "That brings a lot of experience. 

"We’ve got a good group of men here, a group of leaders, and it’s great to be around that and be called a youngster now and then. 

"This is similar to Boreham Wood. Stevenage are a bit more technical, we play a lot, but it put me in great stead to have those five years at Boreham Wood. 

"It taught me the ropes of non-league and I think that makes me a better player. 

"Hopefully I can now get a run of games." 

Smith was part of a full team switch on 58 minutes as Boro played their latest pre-season friendly, a 2-0 win away at St Albans City courtesy a Jake Taylor strike and an own-goal.

And he is up for the challenge of getting into the squad.

He said: "I was used to playing most days at Boreham Wood but it is great to have that competition. 

"That’s what makes you better. When you have that competition, you always play better. 

"I’m hoping to get as many games as possible leading up to Tranmere and I hopefully I can keep going and nail down a place. 

"As a team we need to be up there, up around the play-offs. 

"I know Stevenage have been down at the bottom in recent years so we want to try and build it up again. 

"And everyone is on the same page."