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