Brisbane Roar midfielder Massimo Murdocca is set to play his 131st game for the club on Sunday against Wellington Phoenix, equaling the record for most Roar appearances – a feat currently held by former captain and fellow foundation player Matt McKay.
Murdocca has been with part of the Roar since the inception of the Hyundai A-League back in 2005 and during his tenure with the club, has learnt under three Head Coaches, played alongside more than 80 different players and has played under two different club names after Queensland Roar was dropped in favour of Brisbane Roar three years ago.
The only remaining foundation player at the club was proud of the landmark he was about to achieve but said he wouldn’t let the occasion of the day affect his performance in the Roar engine room against the Phoenix in two days’ time.
“I was reminded during the week that I was matching Matt McKay’s record,” Murdocca said.
“It’s a great honour for me and it’s not something I’m going to take lightly.
“There’s a lot of pride that comes with milestones like this, playing the most games for a club – I think anyone would be proud of that.
“It’s a big one for me but I’ll definitely play the same as always and try and be positive like I always do.”
While Murdocca is close to wearing the orange jersey more times than anyone else, the diminutive midfielder has only two goals to his name in a Hyundai A-League career than has spanned almost seven years.
The team’s last trip to Westpac Stadium, back in early November 2010, saw the visitors take away a 4-1 victory – a result that propelled Brisbane into top spot on the competition ladder for the first time during their stellar premiership and championship-winning season.
Murdocca was on the scoresheet that night with his only other goal coming in a 6-0 thumping of Newcastle Jets back in the 2006/07 season and the Melbourne-born player was optimistic about adding to his goal tally before the current campaign draws to a close.
“I’ve had a few chances in the past few weeks but luck has been against me,” he said.
“That might continue, most likely, but if I get a chance, hopefully I’ll take it this time.”
Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou was full of praise for the club’s loyal servant, who he said had been his side’s “best player” over the past month as the squad looks to regain their form heading into the finals series.
“He kind of sneaks under people’s guard a bit and because he works so hard, the one thing people never question about Massimo is his effort but they can take for granted some other parts of his game,” Postecoglou said.
“He’s been really important for us over this past month and he’s really stepped up.
“He’s been here since day one and he works his socks off and sometimes doesn’t get the accolades that maybe he should.
“I think he’s got another level in him and I think he’s getting to that right now. Hopefully there are bigger and better things for him to come.”