At The End Of The Day

Chris Coyne

Australian Four Four Two - - CONTENTS -

I knew I’d made it as a player when I first went up to Scot­land. At West Ham I was on the bench quite a bit and wasn’t re­ally a part of it. When I went up to Scot­land, I started play­ing week in, week out. I was play­ing Euro­pean foot­ball and I thought this is what I al­ways want to do.

I was hap­pi­est when I was at Lu­ton Town. It was a great club. It had great peo­ple around the club, great coaches, the boys in the dressing room were phe­nom­e­nal. There were some real char­ac­ters in there. We had some good suc­cess too, get­ting a cou­ple of pro­mo­tions. I was prob­a­bly play­ing my best foot­ball there too. I had to leave be­cause the club went into ad­min­is­tra­tion. I got a phone call from the man­ager who said that the boys could get paid if I moved on. I didn’t want to go but it was the dif­fer­ence be­tween the boys get­ting paid.

The day foot­ball broke my heart was miss­ing out on the 2010 World Cup. I had gone up to China, left the fam­ily in Perth and worked re­ally hard over there to get in the squad. That was prob­a­bly the big­gest kick foot­ball gave me. The day I left Lu­ton was a big mo­ment. The re­la­tion­ships I had at the club, it was hard work mov­ing away. Foot­ball has been good to me. When I did my achilles and had to re­tire, I did it at 32. I was able to say I had a good crack.

The fun­ni­est thing a coach ever told me was when I was un­der Joe Kin­n­ear. He was very good and a great bloke but he was an ec­cen­tric man­ager. I had played a ball to mid­field and the mid­fielder had played the ball to the full­back. There was noth­ing wrong with it, it was good foot­ball but he stressed out and used to panic. He said “You, you dopey ****, if you give that dopey **** the ball again, you pair of dopey

****s will never ****ing play again.” We just sort of sat there and looked at each other. It was funny be­cause I thought I was do­ing the right thing.

My proud­est mo­ment was play­ing for the Soc­ceroos. That was al­ways a dream. Grow­ing up I had al­ways wanted to play for the na­tional team and even when I was of­fered to play for Repub­lic of Ire­land, it never crossed my mind. I al­ways wanted to play for the Soc­ceroos. Rep­re­sent­ing my coun­try was def­i­nitely a high­light.

My hero grow­ing up was Paul Gas­coigne. I think I was a dy­namic mid­fielder when I was younger un­til

coaches thought bet­ter and thought I was a panel beater at cen­tre-half. Es­pe­cially af­ter Italy 1990, that’s when it started re­ally resonating with me and I was try­ing to em­u­late ev­ery­thing Gas­coigne did when I was kick­ing a ball around.

If I could change one thing about the game it’s that it’s too sani­tised at the mo­ment. It’s get­ting over of­fi­ci­ated. In the game now, there’s a free kick ev­ery 30 sec­onds when there’s noth­ing un­to­ward. I don’t want to see play­ers get­ting hurt but pro­fes­sional foot­ballers know how to look af­ter them­selves and look af­ter each other. For me, I’d like to see the game run. The path­ways we

have in Aus­tralia at the mo­ment is some­thing else I’d change. We’re cre­at­ing ro­bots. We’re just pro­duc­ing play­ers to play spe­cific po­si­tions, we’re not pro­duc­ing play­ers. It’s great hav­ing a process but you want play­ers com­ing out of the sys­tem who are like Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell. We’ve stopped pro­duc­ing those play­ers be­cause we’re pi­geon­hol­ing play­ers too early.

If it wasn’t for foot­ball I’d prob­a­bly be do­ing noth­ing at all. I’m in fi­nance now which I re­ally en­joy. I did well at school. My par­ents made me fin­ish year 12 and I got all my re­sults through to go to uni­ver­sity. Other than that though, I prob­a­bly would have ended up on a build­ing site!

Three words that sum me up would be loyal, hard-work­ing and pas­sion­ate.

The one thing I couldn’t live with­out is fam­ily. We’re su­per close. There was only me, my brother and my sis­ter with mum and dad grow­ing up. I come from a tight fam­ily unit. Fam­ily is the most im­por­tant thing.

If I could have one wish I’d just like to play one more game in front of a big crowd. Af­ter watch­ing the Soc­ceroos the other night, I’d love to get the boots on at that level again.

Right now I’m coach­ing at Bayswa­ter City Soc­cer Club. Ob­vi­ously I’ve had some suc­cess there. We’ve won 14-15 tro­phies in that time. I’m still just 38 and only just learn­ing the game as a coach. I’ve had an of­fer to go to In­dia as an as­sis­tant. I think that would be a great start. I’d like to learn off some­one. I’d like to go in un­der some­one I trust and see how it goes. I’ve also got to get my kids through school though and it would be self­ish of me to start fly­ing off and do­ing my own thing.

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