Friendships inspire Power match


For Brisbane Roar skipper Matt Smith, there will a couple of very familiar faces at the club’s third pre-season hit-out against Peninsula Power at AJ Kelly Park on Thursday night.

For Brisbane Roar skipper Matt Smith, there will a couple of very familiar faces at the club-s third pre-season hit-out against Peninsula Power at AJ Kelly Park on Thursday night.

Brisbane Premier League club Peninsula is jointly coached by Warren Moon and Scott MacNicol, both former Brisbane Strikers teammates and good friends of Smith from his days playing in the Queensland State League.

Both have taken on player-coach roles at the Power and after guiding their club to the top of the BPL courtesy of a 6-0 drubbing of North Pine last weekend, Moon and MacNicol will now face the challenge of toppling the Hyundai A-League Champions, including their great mate.

“They-re my best friends over here,” Smith said.

“They were both invited to my wedding and I-d say we email, text or call each other every day.

“We talk about everything and football especially – from coaching, playing, Australian football and the European leagues.

“I always look forward to playing these pre-season games and it is extra special when you have a connection like that.”

Despite playing in Sunday-s 5-1 win over Ipswich Invitational, Brisbane Roar Head Coach Rado Vidosic has alluded he may re-call Smith for the match against the local ladder leaders.

Whether he features or not, Smith was confident his friends would provide the Roar with a staunch test on the football field.

“This is their first coaching job but they-ve both played at a high level,” he said.

“Warren was part of the Roar squad in year one and Scott is from Melbourne but has played in Scotland.

“I-d say they-re very modern coaches, very hands-on and like to play technical-based football – or as much as you can with a semi-professional team.

“They-re top of the league at the moment so they must be doing something right!”

But no matter what happens on the pitch on Thursday night, Smith knows he can still count on the support of Moon and MacNicol come Hyundai A-League time and the duo can expect the same of him throughout the local season.

“Both Warren and Scott come and support me at all our A-League games,” the Brisbane captain said.

“They were at the Grand Final and they bring their kids to each game.

“So in turn, I-m a keen spectator of their games when we-re in our off-season, I like going down to see how they-re going.”

Prior to his Hyundai A-League break, Smith spent three years with the Strikers and one season with Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.

As a former local player, the Roar-s pre-season fixture list brings back a host of memories for Smith and he encouraged the local players to make the most of it.

“I still have a lot of friends who play in a lot of different teams in the local league,” he said.

“When I was playing there, I always looked forward to playing against the Roar and I really hope they enjoy playing us as well.

“Plenty of footballers come from the local leagues, some get scouted early but others are like me who just needed that one chance a bit later in their career.

“Who knows? At one of these games, we might find a player suited to our squad or our youth team.”

And as for Smith-s pre-game preparation this week?

“We-re actually all going over to Scott-s tomorrow afternoon for an Ekka barbeque!” he said.

Match details
Brisbane Roar vs Peninsula Power
Thursday, 16 August 2012
AJ Kelly Park, George Street, Kippa-Ring
Gates open at 4.30pm, kick-off at 7.15pm
Player signing session from5pm-6pm
Admission: Free of charge
For the kids: Roary, Rosie and Pauls Rapid Fire Fields from 4.30pm