Brisbane Roar midfielder Matt McKay believes the home end will warmly welcome back Massimo Murdocca when he takes the field against his former club for the first time at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday.
Reports earlier this week indicated that Murdocca was unsure how Roar supporters would react to his return, but his former teammate McKay had no doubts over the reception awaiting the former fan favourite this weekend.
“I think he’ll be the only player in history that will come back to any club and be applauded for what he’s done for our club,” McKay said.
Murdocca was the final foundation player to depart Roar following eight seasons in the midfield engine room. He returned to his home town of Melbourne earlier this year with his young family and signed for Melbourne Heart.
McKay’s six year partnership with Murdocca in the centre of the park at Roar led to the duo being affectionately referred to as the ‘M&Ms’ by supporters, and the Socceroos regular said he believed the crowd will show respect for his former teammate’s achievements.
“He’s a great player but more importantly he’s a great guy. I think all the fans that have met him, and most of them did, realise that and he’ll get a good reception coming back to Brisbane.”
McKay said he wouldn’t be surprised to hear the home end pay tribute to the two-time Grand Final winner in song despite lining up in red and white.
“I’m sure they will get out some of the old favourites for Massimo. He’s a great guy and they respect him, so I’m sure the Den will support him on the weekend.”
While Murdocca is considered a certain starter for the visitors, doubts still surround the fitness of Harry Kewell for the fixture. However, McKay said he expected Heart’s marquee man to suit up on Sunday.
“I expect to see him. He’s missed two games with whiplash, so I don’t think he’ll miss a third,” McKay said.
“It’ll be great for the fans of Brisbane to see him at Suncorp again. He’s a great of the game and will pose a threat for them.”
“He’s a very strong player, he’s got that presence about him by name but also the way he plays as well. He gives their side a lot of confidence I feel, so it will be good for him to be out on the park but it won’t change the way we play.”