Roar defender Matt Smith pushes forward during last year’s A-League pre-season trial match in Toowoomba.
Roar defender Matt Smith pushes forward during last year’s A-League pre-season trial match in Toowoomba. Nev Madsen

Smith roars to captaincy

THE last time he ran out on to Clive Berghofer Stadium, Matt Smith was at a new club trying hard to impress his teammates and coach.

Fifteen months later and Smith returns in different circumstances.

Smith played his first top-flight game with the Roar in Toowoomba last year and he established himself as a first-choice defender in coach Ange Postecoglou's starting side.

Just as well given the Roar went on a record A-League unbeaten streak on their way to taking out the grand final in spectacular fashion in March.

That experience earned Smith a special place in Brisbane Roar folklore but that is not the only special place in the club's history the 28-year-old holds.

The England-born naturalised Australian was appointed captain earlier in the pre-season which makes him one of a select few to be handed the arm band in the fledgling club's history.

This means Smith will lead the defending champions out on to Clive Berghofer Stadium tomorrow night when they take on Adelaide United in a pre-season trial match.

A much different situation than when Smith last set foot on Toowoomba's premier sporting venue.

Smith remembers the good support from the crowd last time he played in the Garden City and is hoping for something similar tomorrow.

Great crowd support is something the Roar have grown accustomed to having as most of south-east Queensland was behind them on their run to the A-League title.

"Supporters have been fantastic. We were very fortunate to have good support last year," he said.

"The style we play is good to watch and we don't sit on the back foot ... and that's something that won the fans over."

Smith is expecting a tough test from Adelaide and knows the Roar can ill-afford to rest on their laurels ahead of the start of the season next month.

Slipping into complacency wouldn't be hard when you are sitting on the A-League record unbeaten run and hold the toilet seat-like premiership trophy.

"The management are very good at keeping the players grounded and limit our expectations, and as players, we want to develop," he said.

"Nothing has changed; we still want to be the best team in Australia."

Tickets for tomorrow night's trial are $15 for adults and $5 for children.

They are available at the Empire Theatre Box Office or at the gate on match day.

The game kicks off at 7pm while the Roar players will be on the ground at 5pm signing autographs.

 



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