Club legend Massimo Murdocca will return to Suncorp Stadium for the first time since departing the Roar almost four years ago when we take on Adelaide United this Friday night.
Murdocca, who recently won the FFV Gold Award while playing in the NPL Victoria with Avondale FC, made 162 Hyundai A-League appearances for the Roar and is regarded in the highest esteem by the club’s supporters.
He was a member of Brisbane’s Hyundai A-League Championship-winning sides in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and will be parked up in the stands on Friday night, eagerly watching his former side search for their first win of the season.
“It’s my first time back at Suncorp Stadium. It will be quite relaxing to come there and not have to worry about performing or winning a game,” Murdocca said.
One of the club’s foundation players, he almost chose a different path into the Hyundai A-League and says that hindsight is a beautiful thing.
“I had a good chance of signing at Melbourne Victory and that never eventuated,” he said.
“Instead I come for a 10-day trial under Miron Bleiberg at Brisbane and the rest is history. I wouldn’t take it back for the world, I think it was meant to be.
“I’m quite proud of how I went and pleased that that little moment went the way it did.”
Murdocca’s classy touches and collected presence under pressure saw him quickly become the apple of the eye for many Roar supporters, and the feeling was mutual.
He still to this day maintains strong relationships with members of the Brisbane faithful and says for him, the fans is what football is about.
Beyond football, he is now pursuing a career in sport science – a passion that originated at the Roar.
“The one person who really influenced me to go down this path was [former Football Strength and Conditioning Coach] Ken Stead. I really respected his work and what he brought to Brisbane,” he said.
“I really believed in his philosophy and how he conditioned us as players. That was the moment where I thought I wouldn’t mind helping players progress and be the best that they can be and that’s my ambition for the future now.”
Murdocca has been gaining experience with AFL club Essendon’s VFL affiliate side and says it is incredible how intrigued AFL clubs are about his experiences in the Hyundai A-League.
“They are really interested in the way things are done in the Hyundai A-League and what I did during my career,” he said.
“There is definitely the respect for football and I think people have to understand that when stories are made in the Hyundai A-League, they do spread, they are heard and people are taking notice.
“That was a proud moment for me to go into a different environment and for people to ask about my successes and the success we had as a club.”