Rhys Smith has signed for East Grinstead Men, returning to the club he represented in the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 seasons. Rhys expects to graduate from Durham University in Summer 2018 where he studied after progressing from Whitgift School.
Rhys joined EG back in 2013 while studying at Whitgift. Under the guidance of Karl Stagno, Rhys developed into a fine young player rewarded with participation in South of England and junior international programmes. During that time he made several appearances for EG Men's 1st Team, playing alongside current EG Head Coach, Glenn Kirkham.
Since heading to Durham University, Rhys has played a major role in their progression in the North Conference, and also helped them secure the British Universities & Colleges Sport title for hockey in the season just completed.
December 2016 saw Rhys selected to play for England U21 at the World Cup in India while in the following year, Rhys represented England U21 in the EuroHockey Junior Championships. What is striking about this particular tournament is that although England finished in 5th place, Rhys was named Player of the Tournament, hinting at his influence and future potential.
Glenn Kirkham is looking forward to welcoming Rhys back into the EG squad and commented: "Its fantastic to be able to kick off our preparations for the coming season with the addition of such an exciting player who I believe has an incredibly bright future ahead of him on both the domestic and international stage"
Rhys echoed Glenn's sentiment "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at EG before heading for University, and so it felt natural for me to return to the same hockey family that helped me get started. I can't wait to pick up where I left off, having benefited from Glenn's guidance on the pitch previously and now looking to absorb as much as I can from him in his new role. With so many Whitgift connections in the group as well it certainly feels like coming home".