Report: Matt Smith draws interest of unnamed Thai clubPosted: December 8, 2014
Brisbane have recently appointed a new coach, and they may soon be looking for a new captain as well, with reports emerging in the last 24 hours or so that Matt Smith has attracted the interest of an unspecified Thai club. In a statement issues late this afternoon Brisbane have confirmed the mutual interest of Smith and the Thai club.
“Matt has expressed the view to the club that he believes this possible move is in his best interests at this stage of his playing career,’’ Fong said.
“Brisbane Roar will await a formal offer from the club and will then consider Matt’s request.’’
The interested club is yet to be confirmed, however it was reported that they want Smith to confirm his move before Christmas, in order to make him eligible for Asian Champions League qualification. If that’s the case, Buriram United are the Thai club who have automatic qualification into the group stage, while Bangkok Glass and Chonburi will enter via the qualifiers. It would seem likely that the interested club is one of Chonburi and Bangkok Glass.
Smith 32, has been an ever-present in the Brisbane back line after Ange Postecoglou gave the English born defender a lifeline when his contract with the Fury was terminated. Matt recently made his 100th league appearance for Brisbane, and has made 108 appearances in all competitions, placing home 8th on the all time list of appearances.
He has offcourse been apart of the clubs most celebrated moments, as he was apart of the three Championships, two Premierships and the 36 game unbeaten streak. In addition to the added honour of being made captain going into the 2011-12 season, which allowed him to captain the club in the second and third Championship winning seasons.
There’s no question that Smith would be a massive loss for Brisbane, an ever-present in the back-line for the last five years, he’s formed a solid partnership with Jade North in the last 18 months which has formed the foundation of the success of the last season. From his perspective, it makes sense to pursue this opportunity, as he’s moving towards the end of his career, and no doubt a lucrative deal in South-East Asia is enticing.
His departure, if it eventuates, will however open up an opportunity for a couple of talented young defenders to get their chance in the first team squad. James Donachie, who has long been touted as a long term answer at centre back will now get a run of games at his preferred position, while youth team defender Lachlan Jackson –one of this seasons NYL standouts- will likely get a chance in and around the first team squad.
Brisbane have acknowledged that there is interest in the player, however they also confirmed this afternoon that they are waiting for an offer to arrive for the player. No doubt Smith will be a massive loss for Brisbane if the move happens. It seems like there’s going to be a host of changes made under the new regime, with Jerome Polenz, Luke DeVere and Robbie Cornthwaite (Cornthwaite has subsequently agreed a deal with Malaysian side Selangor) linked to coming in. Times are changing.