Matt Smith has thanked Brisbane Roar Football Club for granting his surprise transfer request and has paid tribute to the support he has received from the club and its fans.
Smith said it was an extremely difficult decision to leave the Roar after so much success with the club but he believes his lucrative two-year deal with Bangkok Glass is the right move at this stage of his career.
The deal also secures his family’s future, he said.
Smith thanked the club for understanding his position and granting a swift release, despite another 18months remaining on his contract. He will transfer to Bangkok Glass for an undisclosed fee. His release is effective from Sunday, 15 December.
“I am extremely grateful for what the Roar has given my family and I over the past four seasons and for giving me an opportunity to be part of a club that has implemented a certain culture and playing style that has led to fantastic experiences, memories, friendships and silverware,” he said.
“I am privileged and honoured to have captained this great club and have done so with the fantastic help and support of all the players, coaching staff, admin staff and great fans.
“My time here has been extremely memorable and I will be eternally grateful to the Roar.”
Brisbane Roar interim coach Frans Thijssen said Smith would be hard to replace in his squad but the club has to move on.
“This is football, not just here but around the world,’’ Thijssen said. “Sometimes an offer comes along that is perfect for a player at that stage of his career.”
Thijssen said the club was focused on the future and Smith’s pending departure would create an opportunity for younger players to stake a claim for a place in the Roar backline.
“We must now examine our options to replace him in our defence,” Thijssen said.