Victory League club Tilford Zebras have boosted their playing stocks significantly for next Monday’s Lakoseljac Cup Grand Final, signing ex-Socceroo Steve Corica for the crucial Westfield FFA Cup qualifier.
The former Socceroo has played professionally overseas in some of the world’s biggest leagues but will play for Hobart club Tilford Zebras in Monday’s cutthroat Lakoseljac Statewide Cup Final versus rivals South Hobart.
Tilford Zebras President Nick Digiovanni was pleased to welcome in a player of Corica’s ilk for the crucial FFA Cup qualifier.
"It will be exciting to have Steve join the team for a significant occasion for the club," said Mr Di Giovanni.
The match at 3:00pm on Monday June 9 against South Hobart for the Lakoseljac Cup will decide Tasmania’s only entrant into the inaugural Westfield FFA Cup, where they could tackle A-League giants.
Corica comes to the Zebras with an impressive playing resume at home and overseas. Before making his name overseas, Corica played five years with Marconi Stallions in the former National football league, the NSL and also finished his playing career with five seasons at Sydney FC in the A-League.
Corica also played overseas in England with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City and Walsall, he also had a stint in the J-League with Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Corica represented the Socceroos on many occasions throughout the youth ranks, as well as over 40 times at senior level including appearances at the 1997 and 2001 Confederations Cups. It is this experience the Zebras hope will help them in Monday’s do or die final.
"Steve will add a wealth of knowledge from his international playing days and we are hopeful his big game experience will give us a winning edge,” said Mr Di Giovanni
Tilford Zebras have followed all correct procedures in registering Corica as a Tilford Zebras player for Monday’s cup final. Corica has not been secured through the Victory League marquee rule, that rule is exclusive to the Victory League. For players to be eligible for the Lakoseljac Cup, they must be registered players for the club without overhanging suspensions and the player must not be tied to any other clubs within the Lakoseljac Cup or Westfield FFA Cup competitions.
Corica currently coaches Sydney FC’s National Youth League team but also currently plays for Glenwood Soccer Club in Sydney with the likes of Zeljko Kalac and David Zdrilic.
“Steve’s coaching expertise will also give us some extra on-field direction and leadership on a big day for the club and the Tasmanian football community.
"We're hoping for a huge turnout, with Steve’s inclusion adding to what should already be a magnificent spectacle of Tasmania’s finest football between two proud clubs,” Di Giovanni said.
Corica is looking forward to his one-off appearance for the Zebras on Tasmania’s biggest stage.
"Tasmanian football appears to be improving with the Victory League, there are some really exciting things happening here and I am looking forward to pulling the boots on for the Zebras.”
Corica is a midfielder and could be the answer to their midfield headaches made by the departures of Jono Ladic and Joel Stone but the former Socceroo also has the versatility to play a number of roles for the Zebras on Monday.
"It is certainly interesting jumping straight into the pressure cooker of a grand final but I will try to do a job and hopefully help guide the Zebras into the inaugural Westfield FFA Cup,” Corica said.
Details of Corica’s trip will be communicated shortly, including media conferences.