Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith has revealed his bold ambitions for his footballing future, including the option of a two-year coaching deal at the club on the end of his newly-signed playing contract.
Fresh from penning his three-year extension, currently bringing his playing career until the end of the A-League 2015-2016 season, Smith explained the details of his new contract which include an additional two-year playing option as well as progression into a coaching role after that.
“I want to try and play for as long as I can,” the English-born central defender said.
“That might be three years, five years, eight years – who knows?
“My biggest priority is making sure I can still be competitive within the first-team squad.
“I’m 29 now and I think I can certainly go throughout those five years and we’ll see what happens after that.
“The option of continuing to build the culture of this club, not only from a playing perspective but from a coaching perspective, really appealed to me.
“When the club asked if I’d be interested in coaching here after my playing career, it was something I was very excited about.”
While he’s completely focused at the footballing task at hand, including guiding Brisbane to an unprecedented third straight A-League championship, it hasn’t stopped Smith from developing his coaching skills in his own time – starting at grassroots level.
And as part of his new contract, he’ll have to fulfil all requirements of an A-League coach before taking up any role in the Roar coaching department.
“While I’m still playing, the aim is to get my C, B, A and Pro Licenses so that when I finish playing football, I can jump straight into a coaching position,” Smith said.
“I do some coaching externally through the SAP [Skills Acquisition Program] and I do coaching, particularly in the off-season, at local clubs around Brisbane.
“I enjoy coaching kids who want to learn, I enjoy coaching kids who have that passion and that determination and want to get better.”
But mostly, Smith’s motivation and drive to succeed stem from within the Brisbane Roar set-up and he admits he’s increasing his knowledge base on a daily basis.
“I’ve learnt a lot from the management over the past two years with Ange Postecoglou’s style, Rado Vidosic’s style and even the way Kenny [Stead] works,” he said.
“I’m picking up things every day, which I’m preaching to my kids that I’m coaching in the off-season.
“Every single day, I go home and I write down everything we do in training.
“For all players, you’re only one game away from an injury so it’s important to try and plan your future.
“Ideally, one day, I’d love to be the first-team coach here.
“I’ve got to start somewhere and that’s here.”
Smith’s contract extension was announced, alongside that of teammates Shane Stefanutto, Michael Theo, Thomas Broich, Henrique and Ivan Franjic at Brisbane’s mass re-signing press conference on Monday.
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