Corica bows out a winner

Tony Tannous Columnist

By Tony Tannous, Tony Tannous is a Roar Expert

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    When I touched base with Sydney FC a short time ago enquiring about the results from Steve Corica’s test yesterday, I wasn’t expecting to hear the news that his career is over.

    The confirmation that Corica tore the hamstring off his bone within the first 10 minutes of Sunday night’s big win over the Melbourne Victory is a shattering blow to not only the club and its chances of turning its premiership into a championship, but it the cruelest way for this legend of the local game to bow out.

    For neutral fans who have enjoyed the quality that Corica has brought to the local game it is also a loss.

    Announcing his retirement last week, the plan was to go out on his own terms, at the top, with a premiership and championship medal dangled around his neck. Mike Cockerill pieced this fitting tribute at the time.

    But such is the cruel fate of sport that injury has intervened.

    Fittingly, and fortunately, Corica has gone out a winner, and while he wasn’t on field for much of Sunday’s exhilarating occasion, there was little doubt in the post match celebrations just how much the Sydney skipper means to his teammates.

    Even yesterday, at the launch of the A-League finals in Sydney, the skipper was at his understated best, admitting he had requested to fly to Melbourne for Thursday’s first leg of the major semi final. He wanted to be there with, and for, his teammates.

    Little wonder he is so popular in the dressing room, and beyond.

    Many long time fans of the local game might remember the teenager who burst into the Marconi starting 11 and scored an incredible solo goal in a semi final at Parramatta Stadium when he went on a mazy run from half-way.

    Fittingly, his last ever goal came at the same venue 10 days ago, when he converted a penalty against Perth Glory.

    In the ensuing days, weeks and months, Corica’s attention will turn to nurturing the brightest talent at Sydney FC’s disposal, and there is little doubt he will instill the same positive, go-forward mentality he had throughout his playing days.

    Tony Tannous
    Tony Tannous

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • February 16th 2010 @ 1:54pm
      Adam said | February 16th 2010 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

      Another cracking article TT.

      Such a tragic way to end a great career. Hopefully he can go on to a great coaching career as well.

    • February 16th 2010 @ 2:41pm
      Millster said | February 16th 2010 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

      Have just woken up to read this news. I was at the SFS on Sunday but hopped on a plane back to Europe soon after.

      I don’t know whether to be happy or sad for Corica, as though I obviously wished for him to be fit for the finals series, his last act as a player was to hold aloft the Premiers Plate with his team-mates.

      Thanks Bimbi for all the years of entertainment and skill.

    • February 16th 2010 @ 3:18pm
      Vicentin said | February 16th 2010 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

      Sad news but it was great to hear last week that he has a long-term future with the club, nurturing talent etc. Great career Bimbi and a fitting tribute Tony.

    • Roar Guru

      February 16th 2010 @ 3:30pm
      Australian Football said | February 16th 2010 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

      nice tribute for Steve—there should be a bronze statue placed outside the SFS of Corica that would be something special for our first SFC legend . Good luck Steve (Bimbi) Corica.


    • Columnist

      February 16th 2010 @ 4:01pm
      Tony Tannous said | February 16th 2010 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

      Thanks all for your comments.

      Corica has since held a press conference and some of his comment follow – he seems fairly at ease with the whole thing

      Sad also to hear of the passing of Ian ‘Iggy” Gray, who was in the Marconi side as Corica was coming through


      A serious hamstring injury has ended the career of Steve Corica, three games earlier than he had hoped, and put a significant dent in Sydney FC’s A-League title hopes.

      Corica, who announced last week he was retiring at the conclusion of the season, was ruled out of Sydney’s finals campaign after scans revealed he tore his hamstring off the bone during Sunday’s minor premiership decider against Melbourne.

      The former Socceroos midfielder had hoped the injury would only sideline him for Thursday’s major semi-final first-leg against the Victory at Etihad Stadium, but he must now undergo surgery to reattach the muscle in his right leg.

      “It was very nice winning the minor premiership and I was hoping to play in one or maybe two games but it is not to be,” he said.

      “Obviously I am disappointed but my career was coming to an end anyway and winning the minor premiership was a nice way to go out.”

      The 36-year-old admitted he knew the injury was a serious one when he pulled up 10 minutes into his side’s 2-0 win at the Sydney Football Stadium and revealed he has been battling with his hamstring for three weeks.

      “I had a little bit of a problem with it for a few weeks and gradually it just built up and then snapped off the bone and I need surgery on Friday when we get back from Melbourne,” he said.

      “The physios said I go back out there and see how it goes but I could hardly run.

      “I don’t think I even touched the ball when I did so I knew it was quite serious.”

      And although he is sidelined for the remainder of the season, Corica insisted he was determined to keep spirits high around the team as they push for a second A-League title.

      “I want to be around the boys and I am looking forward to that … I am not going to be playing but I still want to be involved,” he said.

      The news rounded off a miserable day for Corica, who also learnt that his close friend former Socceroos midfielder Ian Gray, a teammate in his National Soccer League days with Marconi Stallions, passed away.

      Gray, who is a member of the Australian Soccer Hall of Fame, made 14 appearances for the Socceroos between 1984 and 1992 and was a part of Corica’s wedding party.

      Corica, who scored the winning goal in Sydney’s 2005/06 grand final win, made over 490 appearances in a 20-year career that started with Marconi.

      He then enjoyed a 10-year spell in England with Leicester City, Wolves and Walsall, as well a brief stint in Japan with Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

      Corica made 32 appearances for the Socceroos and scored five goals.

      • Roar Guru

        February 16th 2010 @ 8:15pm
        Australian Football said | February 16th 2010 @ 8:15pm | ! Report

        that’s tragic news, to here of Ian Gray passing. I remember him—can you do an article outlining his career please? I’m sure the Football Family on the ROAR would appreciate it. as would Steve Corica.



    • February 16th 2010 @ 9:44pm
      Midfielder said | February 16th 2010 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

      I played against Ian the week before the world masters … he seemed a nice guy and will be a sad loss..

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