Sydney FC forward Corey Gameiro goes 1v1 with the PFA to share with us the difficulties of coping with long-term injury, the invaluable support he has received and his burning desire to return better then ever.

Q. You had an extremely impressive start to the season, how did you see it from a personal perspective?

CG: It was a very good start to the season, especially in pre-season but I knew I hadn’t accomplished anything yet. The players we had I knew it was going to be very hard to get in the team so I was focused on getting a starting spot and I wanted to show everyone what I could do.

Q. Having struggled with injury the season before, was that a big motivating factor behind your form?

CG: The season before was a big right off for me. Coming back from England I wasn’t there physically and mentally. Meeting Arnie (Graham Arnold) made me change my outlook on it all and he was a massive influence on me.

Q. What was it about Arnie that enabled him to get the best out of you?

CG: The relationship that I have with Arnie is hard to describe, he gave me so much confidence and saw in me what I knew I could do. The first season I came back to Australia I didn’t feel like myself, I felt like I let myself down in England as I wasn’t mentally strong enough to understand the situation I was in there and just kind of went through the motions and it was only when I came home I realised what I had let slip.


Arnie sat me down and we had a very lengthy chat for hours and he got me to focus on what I can achieve now. The year before I was also driving up from Wollongong every day to training then driving home and that was not helping. Arnie said if you want to be a player you need to move up and give yourself every opportunity. When you have someone like Arnie giving you belief and giving you confidence it really helps. I had never had it from a first team coach before.

Q. Unfortunately your fantastic start to the season would come an unexpected halt when you sustained a serious knee injury when you were on duty for the Olyroos, how difficult was that to cope with?

CG: When it happened I didn’t think it was my ACL, I was convinced it wasn’t and I was jogging up and down the sideline keen to come back on. I was Captain of the Olyroos at the time and didn’t want to come off. I went from one of best experiences in my life, scoring against Brazil and Captaining the Olyroos to four days later having it confirmed that my season was over and it was very though. I went from such a high to a real low. I remember being up at three in the morning in China with a towel over my head in tears on Facetime to Arnie after I had spoken to my parents. I just kept saying I’m sorry I can’t help the team now and he said ‘look Corey we are going to get there together it will be ok.’

Q. After the diagnosis, how did you find the next few weeks and months?

CG: It was difficult. I had not been through it before so I didn’t know how to handle it. I did some of my own research and luckily for me I have a really strong support network around me. I moved back to Wollongong with my family and my mum took some time off work to be around for me and that was great. I’m actually finding it harder now as I’m running and doing ball work and I just want to get back into it and I keep getting told ‘Corey you have to relax and be patient.’

Q. Having been out for so long how excited were you to get back on the pitch?

CG: I was so excited. For me I have never done anything other than play football, it’s all I’ve known. When that got taken from me it was really hard. To get to go back there on the pitch I was like a kid in a candy shop. It is exciting times ahead and I know I’m going to get there but I just have to be patient.


Q. Finally, having been through what you have, how important is the support from clubs for players dealing with long-term injury?

CG: It is so important to have them behind you and to know you have their support. When Arnie said to me when I phoned him from China that he is not going to turn his back on me and this was not the type of club to do that that reassured me so much. I’m sure there have been many players that have not been so luckily and have been in a really difficult situation. I’m very thankful that is not me and I’m desperate to get back on the pitch and repay their faith in me.


Each week the PFA will go 1v1 with the member to gain an insight into the lives of professional footballers on and off the pitch.