Smith in doubt for Roar

New Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith is in a battle to be passed fit in time for Saturday night's Hyundai A-League season opener against Central Coast Mariners.

New Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith is in a battle to be passed fit in time for Saturday night's Hyundai A-League season opener against Central Coast Mariners.

Smith, who was elevated to the captaincy after Matt McKay signed with the Rangers, suffered a back spasm during the Roar's Thursday training session and was reduced to walking laps of the field in the reigning premiers' final team run on Friday morning.

Leadership group members Michael Theoklitos, Shane Stefanutto and Erik Paartarlu will ably cover the captaincy duties, but Smith's absence in the centre of defence would mean the Roar would go in with a fresh pairing in new signings Matt Jurman and Mohamed Adnan.

Speaking with media following the Friday morning session, Smith made clear his desperation to lead the side in their grand final rematch with the Mariners.

"I'm giving it every chance for tomorrow. It's looking promising at the moment, so I'm quite confident," he said.

"I wouldn't try to miss this chance for the world. I've got another 36 hours to prepare for it."

"I had a little issue yesterday, but it's come up a thousand percent better today and hopefully it'll be the same sort of progress tomorrow and then it should be ok for tomorrow night."

"A good mixture of both (physio and rest) and I should be right."

Smith's optimism wasn't as wholeheartedly shared by coach Ange Postecoglou, who admitted that both his captain and livewire forward Henrique (ankle) were in doubt.

"(Smith) got a bit of a knock to the back yesterday so we're being a bit precautionary with him. He's not 100 percent (certain) to play, that's a fair assessment," said Postecoglou.

"But we'll give him the full time, he's pretty good at getting up for games and last year he had a few niggles but managed to play. We'll see how he goes, but if he's not 100 percent, he won't play."

"He's a pretty tough cookie. I don't think it'll be pain that will stop him, we just want to make sure he's fine from a physical point of view."

"(Henrique) got a bit of an ankle knock yesterday, so it's swollen up today. Another 24 to 30 hours he might be a chance."

"We'll give him every opportunity but if he's involved it'll more than likely be off the bench."

With Brazilian-born Henrique failing to train at all, the Roar's 2010-11 unearthed talent James Meyer is set to take his chance to start on the right side of the three-man forward line, with highly-touted Albanian international Besart Berisha front and centre and classy recruit Issey Nakajima-Farran on the left.

Postecoglu said that he would have no hesitation playing his imports, but was expecting them to take time to adjust to the style and physicality of the competition.

"They're all pretty keen to get going and they're all pretty excited by the game tomorrow night. We're looking forward to it."

"(Playing is) what they were bought for, that's why we brought them in. They're all pretty comfortable. It'll just be how quickly they adjust to the football here rather than their own ability as footballers."

"We want to improve on last year and that's been our mantra all through the pre-season."

"We're ready to go. All will be revealed tomorrow night as to how we're travelling."