Barrie Smith in contention for landmark appearance at Colwyn Bay

Barrie Smith in contention for landmark appearance at Colwyn Bay

Barrie Smith could become one of the select band of players to reach 300 appearances for the Mariners on Saturday.

Should the popular 33-year-old be selected against Colwyn Bay in EVO-STIK North, he will rack up his third century with the club.

The central midfielder or right-back joined South Shields from Morpeth Town in 2010, and has been one of the club’s most consistent performers since then.

In 2014-15 and 2015-16, he swept the board at the Mariners’ end of season awards, winning the Club Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year prizes.

He has witnessed many highs and lows at Shields, from five trophy wins and two promotions to a relegation and two years in Peterlee.

Barrie Smith's first profile picture as an SSFC player, in 2010.

Barrie Smith’s first profile picture as an SSFC player, in 2010.

However, he doesn’t regret a single moment.

Smith told the club’s matchday programme, The Mariner, last month: “I love every minute of it.

“I’ve always loved playing for this club, and that’s why I’ve never wanted to move.

“When I go out on the pitch, I’ve always given 100%, but I try to give a lot more, because the club has looked after me as well.

“I just love playing football. I’m at an age now when I’ve just really got to make the most of playing.

“I thrive on playing alongside this group of lads and under the management that we’ve got, and enjoy every minute of it.”

Smith played for Hebburn Reyrolle, Birtley Town and Morpeth before his move to Shields.

And even at the age of 33, he’s convinced he is still improving as a player.

He added: “I definitely feel I’m improving as a player, and that comes down to playing with better players and getting the coaching that I get now.

“I think that over the last two seasons, I’d like to think I’ve definitely improved.”

The highlight of Smith’s career came in May when he made an appearance at Wembley for the Mariners in the 4-0 FA Vase final victory over Cleethorpes Town.

It’s a day he will always cherish.

Smith said: “Wembley is something that I still think to myself sometimes, ‘was it a dream?’

“From entering underneath the stadium, to going in and getting prepared, and going out on the pitch, it was just something you couldn’t take for granted.

“None of the lads did, but to be able to get inside that stadium as a player, and then get on that pitch when you know the kind of players who have played on there in the past, is something to be proud of.

“It was made that extra bit special because I had a lot of my family there, including my two children and my wife.

“It was an incredible day.”