Brisbane Roar have agreed to a transfer request from captain Matt Smith, allowing him to join Thai Premier League outfit Bangkok Glass for an undisclosed fee.
Smith, 32, joined Brisbane Roar in 2010 after a stint with North Queensland Fury that ended when the club was kicked out of the A-League.
It didn’t take long for Smith to make his mark, being named captain just a year later when Matt McKay departed for Europe.
Along the way he captained Brisbane to the 2011-12 and 2013-14 A-League titles and was twice named in the Professional Footballers Association team of the year.
His exit is further bad news for Brisbane, having already lost Besart Berisha and Ivan Franjic in the off-season and with Michael Theo and marquee man Thomas Broich both on the sidelines with long-term injuries. It also follows hot on the heels of the club’s decision to sack coach Mike Mulvey, meaning last year’s Championship winning side has been all but dismantled.
“We didn’t want to lose out captain and we are sorry to see Matt leave,” said Brisbane Roar Football Director Ken Stead.
“But we can understand that at this stage of his career he has made a decision he believes is in the best interests of his playing future and his family.
“It is a significant loss, but it creates an opportunity for another player in the squad while the January transfer window is a timely opportunity for the club to strengthen our squad for the challenges ahead.”
Bangkok Glass finished the 2014 Thai Premier League season in 10th spot, but will participate in the qualifying rounds of the 2015 AFC Champions League after winning the Thai FA Cup last month.
Smith will play his final game for Brisbane this weekend against Adelaide United before departing for his new life in Thailand.