Smalling will return to Craven Cottage on Sunday with a number of hands to shake as a thank-you for picking him out as a Maidstone teenage rookie.
"Fulham gave me my chance and I owe them a debt of gratitude," he said.
"When I finished school they gave me the chance to develop. I was in the reserves and then broke into the first team squad last year. I made a lot of friends there. It will be a bit weird going back but I hope it will be an enjoyable day.
"Roy Hodgson gave me my chance but there are a lot of coaches still there who helped me. Billy McKinlay gave me a lot of support over the last couple of years and it is all credit to them. I owe them a lot."