THE TURF’s very own photographer Aleksandar Jason caught up with former A-League footballer Massimo Murdocca in Melbourne last week. Murdocca still lives and breathes the world game, and we were lucky enough to take some photos, chill out and talk football. Check it out below!
TURF – TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
MM – To be honest, I’m just an ordinary guy. That’s what my career was all about, getting the job done and making sure we won. The way you saw me on the football pitch is the way I live my life. Ill do the best for my family
TURF– DESCRIBE THE FEELING OF WINNING THE A-LEAGUE WITH BRISBANE ROAR?
MM – In football and any other sport, when your winning it’s the best feeling. But when you are loosing, it’s the worst. Winning the A-League was a good moment of my career and we did it 2 years in a row. We felt spoilt and lucky, but at the end we all worked hard. Really enjoyed it, they are the moments you remember for ever.
TURF– WHEN DID FOOTBALL BECOME YOUR LIFE?
MM – It first took over when my father said I wasn’t allowed to play AFL. I really wanted to play AFL – I actually played for a club as a rover at the age of 12 and I wasn’t bad actually. He shut it down straight away, being European he loved football and he said to me “You play soccer or you don’t play sport” but he was a lovely man and football was him.
TURF– YOU’RE ITALIAN RIGHT? SO FOOTBALL WAS IT
MM – Yeah he was a Inter Milan fan and that’s it
TURF– YOU’RE A NORTHERN SUBURBS MAN. WHERE WAS YOUR FIRST CLUB? ANY INTER MILAN COLOURS?
MM – The first club I played for is sadly defunct now. We were based in Keilor and we were actually green so no Inter connections. It was a fantastic club to be apart of, and my favourite to be apart of. It was sad to see it go at the age of 12. After that I went to Fawkner Blues @ Jukes Road
TURF– IS IT EASIER FOR FOOTBALLERS TO GET NOTICED TODAY COMPARED TO BEFORE SOCIAL MEDIA?
MM – Thinking back when I was a junior, the NSL was briefly on TV and you would be lucky if people would tune in. No social media, so people at my age 16-18 – we had no opportunity of getting noticed local or internationally. Today you can see kids uploading videos and getting gigs across the globe. It’s a lot different, and I am proud of what I did with my time.
Social media took over at the end of my career, and I am grateful for that because now there is a lot more pressure and scrutiny on the next generation of athletes. A lot more difficult for players to excel week in week out.
TURF– FOOTBALLING HERO?
MM – MARADONA!!!! As a junior, my father recorded all Maradona games for us to watch – we admired him.
TURF– FAVOURITE FOOTBALL MEMORY?
MM – My very first training session, first time I went to a club. I don’t know why. I didn’t know what to expect. After training every day with my brothers and my dad. I entered a new world, at the age of 6 and to finally to play alongside with other kids. I was worried, but before I knew it I was running my arse off.
TURF– DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST EVER GOAL AND MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
MM – My first goal was in the NSL for South Melbourne, in the 90th minute believe it or not against Melbourne Knights – A MASSIVE RIVALRY
We were winning 2-0 at Knights Stadium, we received a red card and they caught up. 2-2 and we all thought we were going to loose the game. They were pressing all the time, going for that third goal – and then I got a through ball to end up on a 1v1 with the Knights keeper, I put it through and what a sucker punch it was. We won 3-2 on the 90th moment
Ill never forget that goal.
TURF– OFF THE PITCH, WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS?
MM – I have a lot of aspirations. I’m completing my university degree: Exercise and Sports Science. The fitness side of the game is where I am interested and of course coaching. Showing them the right way by giving them a chance to enjoy the game and develop a great environment. I am currently coaching the Parade College kids.
TURF– NSL- WHAT WENT RIGHT AND WHAT WENT WRONG?
MM – That’s a good question (Laughs)
That’s a really good question, it had it moments. I’m going to be honest, as far as the quality went the players were really good. If they had the exposure and attention that the A-League gets today. It would have been a successful league!!
NSL just seemed to not have structure and backing, it was disappointing to see it go down. And as a footballer, I enjoyed being at South Melbourne – the set up the club had back then. Clubs now don’t have anything similar. That’s what people don’t understand, I remember my first season as. Training day and night as a professional. Sadly sustaining that professional level with low funds was difficult.
TURF– SHOULD THERE BE MORE TEAMS IN THE A-LEAGUE?
MM – There has to be, too many young players missing out on a chance – some don’t have a club. There are just not enough spots and we will loose a lot of future talent
TURF– HOW DID YOU HANDLE THE TRANSITION LEAVING HOME-TOWN MELBOURNE FOR AN A-LEAGUE GIG AT BRISBANE ROAR?
MM – The first choice I had was Melbourne Victory, as a professional if the opportunity is there you have to take what’s best for you and at the time. Brisbane was a little more laid back, less pressure and the game wasn’t as big as it is in Melbourne. No matter what success we had, we were never scrutinised as much by the media and I feel that’s what helped us achieve what we did.
TURF– HOW DID YOU RATE YOUR TIME AT MELBOURNE CITY
MM – When I first found out they would be based in my home suburb of Bundoora, straight away I said in my mind “THAT’S THE CLUB” I want to play for – I had many opportunities while at Brisbane that I wanted to move, and yeah the chance came about and I moved down and enjoyed the challenge. We may have finished a the bottom end of the table, but as a squad we did well to change that the year after – I may not have had the chances in the second season but as I mentioned earlier. I am a team player and as a team we made improvements
TURF– WILL WE EVER SEE COACH MURDOCCA?
MM – Not at the professional level, not at an elite sporting club – look, I would like to be apart of a professional environment helping out the next generation of athletes. That’s why I am doing a degree, but as a coach its still early days
Right now, my vision is to work alongside a professional sporting environment
TURF– EUROS 2016 WINNERS?
MM – I am Italian of course….. ITALY
TURF– DO YOU PLAY FIFA?
MM – yes I do! I don’t play online haha. I might get too addicted to Manager Mode so ill avoid that
TURF– HOW’S YOUR SEASON GOING AT AVONDALE IN THE NPL?
MM – We had a really bad start, we lost 5 in a row and a few injuries. I recently mentioned to the club and the team that when I was at Brisbane, we lost 5 in a row and later won the league.
Now with Avondale, we have worked hard and bonded together in the last month with some fantastic results to push for the finals and of course silverware. It’s a big mountain and we need to push for the top, anything is possible.
TURF–STAND OUT TEAM-MATES?
MM – Nick Symeouy has impressed me a lot, he is an animal – the contribution as a youngster is there and hopefully he gets a chance in the A-League again.
Germano is back, and scored the winner over the weekend so I am happy to see the man back on the pitch.
James Brown from MCFC is at the club, pushing for first 11 and really excited to see him back
TURF- ANY EARLY BETS ON THE A-LEAGUE WINNER NEXT SEASON?
MM – I wouldn’t know, one season we have Victory doing well and then 12 months doing poor. We had Adelaide doing the crazy this season.
TURF– WITHOUT RELEGATION, TEAMS DON’T NEED TO PERFORM TO STAY UP. THOUGHTS?
MM – Yeah and the other issue is the salary cap, players that are succesfull at clubs want more money. If their club cant afford it, they’ll leave
That’s the hardest thing, and the A-League has hit the ceiling. They need to retain these players
TURF– MELBOURNE CITY WINNING THE LEAGUE?
MM – I am a huge fan of City, they sadly let it go last few weeks and they need to find that form with loosing it at the last second – so YES I will be tipping them for the season
TURF– WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN THE A-LEAGUE?
MM – I would like to see Ronaldinho, even if it was a 5 game stint
TURF– THOUGHTS ON LEICESTER CITY FC?
MM – I cant believe it, did the big clubs perform or did the foxes find something to beat everyone.
United, City, Chelsea all underperformed. Vardy and Mahrez did the job and they need to stay at the club.