Matt Smith announced as new Brisbane Roar skipper

One Matt hands the captains armband back, and another gets given the honour today with central defender Matt Smith getting the nod ahead of Michael Theoklitos, Eric Paartalu and Shane Stefanutto. It is perhaps a little bit of a suprise given that Stefanutto has captained the side in the 3 preseason hit-outs since McKay’s departure to Rangers, and that both Stefanutto and Theoklitos were present at the kit unveiling while Smith wasnt, but for mine its a good decision.

We outlayed the pro’s and con’s for all of these guys in an earlier blog and without going over all that again Smithy definatly has the attributes to be a good captain of the club going foward of mine, he’s a strong competitor, a key cog in the side and he has had some experience as a captain with the Brisbane Strikers. He isnt as much of a talker on the park as Stefanutto, but he isnt exactly silent either and from his position can oversee the game infront of him and issue tactical instructions to team mates.

The appointment continues something of a tradition at the club, with 4 of the clubs 5 captains plying their trade predominatly as central defenders, something which started way back with foundation skipper Chad Gibson, thru to Josh McCloughan who took over the armband late in season 2 and ofcourse to Craig Moore, who captained the side durin his 2 and a half season stint with the club. Departing skipper Matt McKay ofcourse broke that trend in early 2010 when Postecoglou handed him the armband and he lead the side to the most successful stint in club history, but maybe there are certain attributes or charecteristics about defenders that the club, and Postecoglou like in a captain?

Here are a few quotes from the new skipper, and boss Postecoglou, from the Brisbane Times.

Matt Smith- Incoming Brisbane Roar Capatain:

“I wasn’t expecting it, I will be completely honest,” said the England-born  defender. “Matt has left some big shoes and I will do my best to fill them. “It’s going to be a big year for the club.”

We want to be the best team in Australia, we want to be the team that  everyone is trying to chase. “We have to make sure we keep one step ahead of them.”

Smith added: “We have a lot to improve on as a club. “We don’t want to go backwards – it’s part of my role to make sure that  happens. “It’s a big job but I am more than up for it.”

Brisabane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou:

 “He has all the trademarks of someone who will lead by example,”
“I  like the dynamics of Michael, Erik (Paartalu) and Shane who are pretty   vocal being in the leadership group – it gives us a good balance.”

This announcement does come as a bit of a shock I suppsoe given that most people I spoke to were expecting to see Stefanutto get the armband, and myself personally I would of prefered Paartalu,  but hopefully the 5th club captain in Brisbane Roar history is as successful as his predessor and follows in the footsteps of Gibson, McCloughan, Moore and McKay.

In other news at the club today, new Canadian midfielder Issey Nakajima- Farran has arrived in Brisbane and had his 1st training session today, with a chance of playing in sundays pre-season hit out against the Melbourne Victory in Launceston. Fellow new attacking import Besart Berisha will also apparently arrive later this week when visa issues are sorted, but is extremely unlikely to be taking part in the match this weekend.

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