Fife Elite Football Academy U17 player Jack Smith, who is registered with Raith Rovers FC and who is a regular with Raith’s U20s, has two good reasons to look forward to the coming months.

Firstly, Jack is set to be awarded a 2-year apprenticeship with Raith Rovers, beginning at the start of season 2017-18. Jack’s performances and hard work when playing and training for Fife Elite FA and Raith Rovers have led to this award.

Craig Easton, Raith U20s coach and Head of Youth Development at Raith, commented,

‘Whenever Jack has played or trained with our Development Squad, not only has he performed well, but he has also shown a terrific attitude and a willingness to learn. He’s a great kid who has embraced the challenge of playing alongside and against more experienced players and I can’t wait to work with him on a daily basis next season. He will be an excellent addition to Raith Rovers Football Club and is an exciting prospect for the future.’

Secondly, and as a means to prepare Jack as fully as possible for his journey into full time football, he has been invited to attend the world famous Benfica FC Academy for 4 weeks in April. When there, he will join the Benfica ‘Elite International Development Squad’ and the daily sessions will focus mainly on the development of technique and on developing a player’s mindset. The invite has come through the ongoing formation of a partnership between the Fife Elite Academy and Benfica.  Stephen Wright, Head of Academy Coaching in the Fife Elite Academy, recently spent time at the Benfica Academy as part of an SFA study group.

Stephen said,

‘Having been at the Benfica Academy recently and having seen first-hand the facilities and how the coaches prepare their players, I have no doubt that the experience will be of great benefit to Jack and will stand him in good stead for when he starts full time at Raith Rovers.’

Whilst Jack is already committed to travelling to Portugal for the opportunity of a lifetime, Fife Elite FA and Raith Rovers are still looking to help offset the costs of the trip. An account has been set up with ‘GoFundMe’ with the account name ‘JACK SMITH BENFICA’.  Raith fans can help by making a donation to

If you can, please donate to help offset the costs of sending Jack on the opportunity of a lifetime.

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