In his eight years as an assistant with Sydney FC, Steve Corica has worked under some shrewd managerial brains.
The likes of Vitezslav Lavicka and most recently Graham Arnold have come and gone through the Sky Blues setup and have worked with Corica.
The now 45-year-old has spent time as Sydney’s youth boss, as an assistant and briefly as a caretaker in 2012.
Fair to say he has served his apprenticeship.
Eight years on from the start of his coaching journey in 2010 – and 12 after he entrenched himself as a club great in the 2006 grand final – Corica, a 106-game player with Sydney, has been afforded a vote of confidence by Sydney to take the top job.
The club’s decision comes after its most successful ever period, setting record after record, winning back to back premierships and a championship.
Corica has learned from soon-to-be Socceroos coach Arnold while the Sky Blues have sent those milestones tumbling.
And while he will use tips and tricks gained from Arnold, Corica will be his own man in the Sydney hot seat.
“I’ve seen as a coach what works and what doesn’t work so I’ll put my own stamp on it as well,” the new boss told a media conference at Sydney Harbour on Wednesday.
“I’ll do my best to lead this club.
“My coaching style’s much the same. We don’t want to change too much, what’s been working.
“Whether the formation stays the same … I think you need fresh faces. We keep the core group together, they know the culture of the club and what we expect and we need those senior players leading the way for the new players coming in and fresh faces.
“That gives everyone new opportunities.”
Just three regular-season defeats in the A-League season just gone means Sydney have accumulated only four losses in total – five including finals games.
An upset 3-2 loss against Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium in the semi-final ended Sydney’s dreams of back to back championships.
Corica was quick to declare his side – which has maintained much of its nucleus – has room to improve.
“There’s players still at a young age that will get better … they will get better,” he added.
“The older boys need to focus for a new season and motivate these young boys and motivate themselves to win trophies, which they do.
“They’re all winners, they’ve shown that in the last two years and we expect the same from them next year.”
In his playing days as a Sky Blue, Corica lined up against arguably the A-League’s most decorated ever player: Dwight Yorke.
Sydney have since recruited Juventus and Italy superstar Alessandro Del Piero in a famous two-year stint in Sydney.
The renewal of a $3 million marquee fund has been floated by FFA, with some four clubs reportedly interested in dipping their toes into the fund.
But with Sydney looking to ink one-time Johnny Warren medalist Milos Ninkovic and reigning Golden Boot winner Bobo to marquee contracts, it appears unlikely Corica will chase a big name.
“We’re looking at signing Ninkovic and Bobo for marquees, so I’m pleased with them two, if we can get their signatures,” he revealed.
“They’ve been fantastic over the years and I’m looking forward to working with them.
“The club is confident in what we’ve got.”