Former Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith has simple advice for Moreton Bay United and Brisbane Strikers ahead of Saturday’s PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Premiership deciders.
Jets travel to Toowoomba on Saturday to face bottom-placed SWQ Thunder, while Strikers host Northern Fury an hour later in Brisbane. Both sides have 46 points, but Jets are top with a two-goal better goal difference.
With the season possibly coming down to the final kick, Smith was eager to pass on the advice that saw him win three Hyundai A-League Grand Finals and two Premierships with Brisbane Roar.
“Don't think about anything else apart from the job (ahead)” said Smith, “Don't change the things they've been doing all season."
“There is pressure for both teams regardless of the kick off times. But I think it's important that the teams don't focus on that and more on ensuring they perform well and get there respective jobs done."
“The team that can prepare and handle the pressure the best will come out on top.”
Smith, who now stars for Bangkok Glass in the Thai Premier League, said comparing the two teams was difficult.
“(There are) so many contrasting differences to answer quickly. They both have their own uniqueness and strengths and weaknesses,” he said
Smith boasts ties to both clubs, playing as part of Strikers' Queensland State League 2009 Premiership winning team, as well as coaching at Moreton Bay United.
And while not looking to take sides, he conceded Jets rise to the top of the competition was a remarkable effort in just the club's third year.
“It is a fantastic achievement for any club to be in that position,” said Smith, “It illustrates all the hard work put in by the players, coaching and support staff.”
“I have witnessed at first-hand the amount of work that has gone into the club, so I guess I'm not surprised because they are benefiting from work done previously and now.”
Despite now being based overseas, Smith said he still maintains a keen interest in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland.
“I try, as much as possible, to follow all the teams in Brisbane,” he said.
“I have a lot of friends that play in different leagues and I am always keen to keep an eye on how they are doing. The highlights packages are always a good way to keep tabs on the teams and players.”
“I think the NPL competition across the country is building as a fantastic league and standard as a platform to progress to the A-League," he concluded.
SWQ Thunder FC v Moreton Bay United FC
Commonwealth Oval, Toowoomba
Saturday, August 29
Kick-off at 5:00PM
Perry Park, Brisbane
Saturday, August 29
Kick-off at 6:00PM
*This match will be LIVE STREAMED at www.nplqld.com.au