He has clearly come a long way since the day he was shown the door by Millwall as a teenager and ended up preparing for university and life in non-league football.
Smalling said: "It has been a meteoric rise. I was unfortunate at Millwall but settled in at Maidstone and then got my chance here.
"I have really enjoyed the games and when you have a manager of the calibre of Roy Hodgson showing faith in you, it is a big help.
"I played the preliminary round with Maidstone before I joined here.
"Seeing as I've had a second chance, I am really enjoying my time and, hopefully, there is a more to come."