Hyundai A-League Magic Moments: Steve Corica

Steve Corica will be indelibly linked to the Hyundai A-League after becoming the first player to score a goal in a grand final.

Steve Corica will be indelibly linked to the Hyundai A-League after becoming the first player to score a goal in a grand final.

But it's not the record books or YouTube he turns to when he needs to recall the moment he struck the winner in a 1-0 victory over Central Coast before a full house at the Sydney Football Stadium.

No, it's eldest daughter Teshana who provides the walking, talking highlight reel of that hot March day in 2006.

"Well, I don't know if she was actually watching when I scored but she was up on stage when we were presented with our medals," Corica laughs.

"She's in all the photos and became a real celebrity at school after that day."

"She talks about that more than my goal."

Yes, the goal.

The only goal in a tense decider between the haves and have nots of the A-League's debut season before a sell-out crowd of 41,689.

Sydney FC had Dwight 'party all night' Yorke. The Mariners boasted Noel 'Frank' Spencer.

Sartorial elegant World Cup winner Pierre Littbarski was in charge of the sky blues, self-deprecating Scotsman Lawrie McKinna was the perfect fit at the helm of the blue collar Mariners.

Steve 'Bimby' Corica was in his first year back from a 15-year overseas playing stint in England and Japan.

While Yorke stole - and created - all the headlines in that 2005/06 campaign, many behind the scenes credit the clever Corica for providing the polish.

His moment would arrive just after the hour mark in the grand final, albeit with plenty of assistance from master showman Yorke.

"I remember Yorkey had the ball for a long time and was getting closer and closer and the defence was retreating back and back," Corica recalls.

"Matt Bingley made an overlapping run and at the 18-yard box Yorkey cut the ball back to me."

"I hit it through a defender's legs and into the corner of the net and then it's all a bit of a blur."

"At the time you knew it was a big moment but it probably means even more now."

"That will forever be the first goal in the first A-League grand final."

"I'd returned from overseas to be part of the A-League so to have my name go down in history is something special, not just for me but my family."

Things have never been the same at Sydney FC since that memorable day on March 5, 2006.

Littbarski's long gone - as are the three coaches who followed the German - and a string of players have exited.

Corica is about the only constant in the ever-changing world that is Sydney FC.

But heading into what may be his final season, the 36-year-old attacking midfielder senses stability and renewed purpose under Czech coach Vitezslav Lavicka.

"There is a different feeling around the place, definitely," Corica says.

"Training has been intense but enjoyable and everything we do, we do for a reason."

"We've been doing very well in all our pre-season games, so it all seems on track."

"Hopefully we can get back to something like it was in that first year."