Steve Corica takes over Sydney FC, vows to re-sign top talent
For 14 years, Steve Corica has been part of Sydney FC — first as a player, then a captain and then an assistant coach as the Sky Blues rose to become an A-League powerhouse.
Now, 12 years after scoring the winning goal in the 2006 A-League Grand Final, Corica has been appointed as the man to succeed Graham Arnold and take over a club at the height of its power.
The first thing on the 45-year-old's to-do list is to secure the club's top playing talent, including the likes of striker Bobo and midfielder Milos Ninkovic.
"I am pretty sure those signatures will be coming in the next week or so," Corica said.
Ensuring the continued service of these players — along with Johnny Warren Medal winner Adrian Mierzejewski — could play a big part in his success as a coach in the A-League next season.
"There is a lot of pressure but I am used to it, I know the expectations of the club and what they want to achieve," he said.
"I have got belief in what I am trying to achieve here in the club."
In the past two A-League seasons, the Sky Blues have claimed back-to-back premierships, an FFA Cup, a grand final win and lost only five games in the process.
Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow said Corica's appointment will help the club build on what it has already achieved.
"We have been very successful the past few seasons," he said.
"We didn't want a coach that was going to come in and go back to the drawing board."
Not one to flinch at taking on a challenge, Corica admitted there was not a lot of room for improvement in the Sky Blues' set-up but he feels his tutelage under Arnold has put him in a strong position.
"We want to keep things going in the same direction," he said.
"You want to win trophies, this club expects to win trophies.
"We missed out last year in the Grand Final so that's the motivation — expectations are high, the players know that."
Corica's debut season in charge will see the Sky Blues play at a number of temporary venues, with the Sydney Football Stadium unavailable due to renovations.
As for the club's playing style, don't expect that to change either.
"Entertaining, winning, is very important," he said.
"As a player I wanted to do that, entertain and make the fans feel good about coming to the game."
"I am looking forward to a successful period at the club," he said, adding his relationship with the club's supporter group has always been strong.
"The Cove has always been behind me — as an assistant I have always had a great rapport with them and I don't expect anything to change."