Murdocca to mark magical milestone
Brisbane Roar midfielder Massimo Murdocca has admitted to a few nerves during the squad’s final preparations for tomorrow night’s fixture against Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane Roar midfielder Massimo Murdocca has admitted to a few nerves during the squad-s final preparations for tomorrow night-s fixture against Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium.
The match will mark the 100th Hyundai A-League appearance for the midfield pocket rocket, a milestone he may not have believed was within reach at times over the past two seasons.
After suffering a number of injuries throughout his Hyundai A-League career, including breaking his leg in the early stages of last season, the 26-year-old said he took to training this morning praying he wouldn-t fall victim to bad luck once more.
“Today was a shaky session, I was hoping I wasn-t going to get injured again in case I couldn-t get my 100th game, to be unlucky again and miss the game, but I got through it so now I-m pumped for tomorrow,” he said.
“I think I think it-s a milestone that a lot of players would like to achieve in their career.
“It-s taken me six years, I-ve had a lot of setbacks with injuries and that so it-s nice to finally get there.”
One of just two players to reach the triple digit mark in Roar colours, Murdocca said he was proud to have worn the Brisbane jersey on so many occasions, especially alongside midfield partner Matt McKay.
“Playing for one club, that makes it a little bit more special,” he said.
“There are only two players who have done it now, the other player being Matty so it-s a pretty prestigious group and I-m glad to be a part of it.”
Postecoglou was full of praise for Murdocca, whose tireless efforts on the field and fun-loving character in the dressing room have made him an integral part of Brisbane Roar since the club was formed in 2005.
“It-s a major thing I think, particularly when it-s done at one club and he-s been here since day one,” Postecoglou said.
“I like what Massimo represents - he gives 100 per cent all the time and he-s always positive.
“The players love him, the supporters love him and he-s the type of player we want representing this club.
“He doesn-t let anything get to him, whether he-s having a good game, bad game, whether he-s won the ball, lost the ball, first or last minute he-s always a positive character.
“I think work rate is one thing, but having that sort of attitude is his main asset, there aren-t very many other players like him.
“For him to play 100 games is fantastic and hopefully we can cap it off with a win.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow night-s clash against Perth Glory, Murdocca said the Brisbane squad were staying grounded about their current table-topping status, still only worrying about their own preparations and performances instead of ladder places and league statistics.
However, should Brisbane manage to avoid defeat against their Western Australian opponents, they will equal the Hyundai A-League-s longest unbeaten streak of 13 games, set earlier this season by Adelaide United.
“I think the most important thing about this streak is that no one has really taken notice of it, the players especially,” Murdocca said.
“There was one week I got told it was four weeks unbeaten, then I heard it was seven games unbeaten and now it-s 12 I think.
“We haven-t really been counting and I think that-s a good approach to take into the season.
“We haven-t even looked at the ladder in the past couple of weeks and we don-t know where the other teams are sitting, who can catch us and that sort of thing.”
Postecoglou highlighted the experience in the Glory ranks as the biggest threat to Brisbane and said his players should be wary of resurgent performance after Perth-s 2-0 loss against Sydney FC on the weekend.
“They-re obviously going through a rough patch at the moment but when you go through that you know that one or two results could change things for you,” he said.
“Robbie Fowler is doing well, he-s obviously a quality player and you can see the game they have won, he-s the one that made the difference.
“With his experience, he-d probably be the one bloke that-s least affected by what they-re going through because he-s probably seen it all before.
“They will rely on their experienced players - Robbie Fowler, Jacob Burns, Mile Sterjovski, those kind of guys - so I certainly expect them to be a threat.”
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 15. Matt McKAY, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21. James MEYER, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK. *three to be omitted*
In: 14. Rocky VISCONTE (promoted), 18. Luke BRATTAN (promoted), 21. James MEYER (promoted)
Unavailable: 10. HENRIQUE (broken arm - indefinite), 4. Shane STEFANUTTO (hamstring 4-6 weeks)