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Montrose FC have signed Craig Smith from East of Scotland League side Heriot-Watt University on a one-year deal that will see the promising young defender join up with the Links Park squad until the summer of 2025.

The 23-year-old spent his youth, developing within the Academy systems at the likes of Raith Rovers, Stenhousemuir, Livingston and Celtic. Progressing into the adult game at the age of 16, a year at Junior outfit Bathgate Thistle followed before Craig’s studies took him to Heriot-Watt University in 2018.

Studying for his Masters in Investment Management, the West Calder born defender played for the universities U20’s side in his first season, before stepping up to the first team, where he has remained for the last five years, notching up 119 appearances, 10 goals and has worn the captain’s armband for the last 2 campaigns.

Assistant Manager Ross Campbell explained, “We are very pleased that Craig has chosen Montrose as I know he had a number of options to consider. After impressing for Heriot-Watt, Craig has been in training periodically with us over the last six months and quickly proved he can make the step from university football to the professional leagues.

“We would like to thank Banji Koya, Head Coach at Heriot-Watt University Football Club where Craig has been part of their Football Scholarship programme these past two years.”

On his big move, Craig added, “I am delighted to be signing for Montrose after 6 years of hard work at Heriot-Watt. I know a few of the boys already and it seems like a great environment to be a part of.

“I know it will be a big step up for myself but it’s one I’m massively looking forward to and I can’t wait to get started.

“I would also like to thank Banji Koya for everything he has done for me during my time here.”

Remarkably, Craig becomes the sixth uni scholar to be snapped up by the Angus side in recent years, joining Ali Shrive and Aidan Quinn, also from Heriot-Watt, together with Craig Brown, Blair Lyons, and most recently Ben Maciver-Redwood from the University of Stirling.