Flood ‘ ex­ile’ the mak­ing of us, says Roar mid­fielder

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

IM­AGES of a flood-rav­aged Sun­corp Sta­dium al­most broke his heart.

But Bris­bane Roar mid­fielder Massimo Mur­docca be­lieves time spent away from their beloved home ground was the mak­ing of the record­break­ing A-League side.

Re­mark­ably just weeks af­ter be­ing un­der me­tres of wa­ter, Sun­corp Sta­dium was named the A-League’s No. 1 pitch for 2010-11, with a rat­ing of 4.5 out of 5.

Play­ing on Sun­corp Sta­dium again this sea­son – let alone host­ing Sun­day’s grand fi­nal – was all but dis- missed b y Mur­docca when he watched TV footage of a kayak cruis­ing around at the in­un­dated venue in late Jan­uary.

‘‘ I thought it would be over for the year at this sta­dium – it was heart­break­ing look­ing at that,’’ Mur­docca said. As the Sun­corp Sta­dium cleanup be­gan, the Roar were forced to re­lo­cate to Gold Coast’s Skilled Park for three games – yet still they ex­tended their un­beaten streak.

Skilled Park had its fair share of knock­ers – Cen­tral Coast coach Graham Arnold de­scribed it as the league’s worst sur­face. For the record it rated fourth worst with a 3.5 rat­ing – Syd­ney Foot­ball Sta­dium was dead last at 2.9.

Mur­docca claimed the time in ex­ile on the glit­ter strip was a test of char­ac­ter, but the Roar still man­aged to ex­tend their record win­ning streak, which now sits at 27.

The Roar are over­whelm­ing favourites when they host Cen­tral Coast this week­end.

‘‘ They were tough weeks go­ing down there, we were miss­ing Sun­corp even more,’’ Mur­docca said.

‘‘ We were still get­ting the re­sults though. I think that proved how se­ri­ous we were this year.

‘‘ Now we want to round it Sun­corp on Sun­day.’’

Mur­docca, wit h s ki p p e r Matt McKay, is one of only two Roar foun­da­tion play­ers left ahead of the big­gest day in the club’s short his­tory.

While not per­son­ally af­fected by the floods, McKay said win­ning the grand fi­nal would take on ex­tra sig­nif­i­cance in light of Queens­land’s re­cent nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

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