Legends of the West: Ron Corry

Socceroo, NSL and NSW State League legend Ron Corry has always been an inspiring figure and a great contributor to football.

Following on from our popular Legends of Western Sydney series, this edition brings you Socceroo, National Soccer League and NSW State League legend Ron Corry who at age 72 is now goalkeeping coach for NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers.

Tasting success as both a player and a coach, Corry has made a lasting impact on football in Australia and continues to do so. His impact in inspiring and developing young Western Sydney talent has paid dividends with clubs all around the world enjoying the fruits of Corry-s labor.

Born in 1941, Corry played his junior football with Canterbury making his debut for the senior side in 1964 before joining Pan Hellenic (later known as Sydney Olympic) but it was with Croatia (later known as Sydney United) that the goalkeeper truly made his mark.

Joining Croatia in 1966, Corry spent ten seasons with the club during which time he made his first Socceroos appearances; against Singapore in 1967. He went on to make 33 appearances for the national side including key contributions in Australia-s successful 1974 World Cup Qualification campaign and very-nearly successful 1970 World Cup Qualification campaign.

To top off his playing days, the ever-present Corry became the second oldest player in the history of the National Soccer League when he played his final match for Marconi at an impressive 41 years of age.

It was a fitting end to a record-breaking career that Corry says had a lot to do with his steely personality, passion for football and an inability to take no as an answer.

After finally hanging up his boots as a player in 1981 Corry set his sights on a new goal in football; coaching. And once again proved just how valuable an asset he is to Australian football.

He took a few years break to recover from a long career on the pitch and began learning his trade on the sideline before eventually signing on as Sydney Croatia-s Head Coach in 1989.

From there he managed Blacktown City and Bankstown, temporarily leaving his roots in Western Sydney to win his first title (as player or coach) with Wollongong Wolves before returning home with Canterbury-Marrickville and a stint with Sutherland.

In between stints with clubs, the Western Sydney legend also enjoyed several stretches as goalkeeping coach for the Australian National Team as well as junior and development squads; adamant that his true passion lied in developing youngsters.

Prior to signing on with the Wanderers, our goal keeping icon had worked in Canberra with the Australian Institute of Sport for over five years, being drawn away from the capital by his love for football in the area and the allure of working with his friend Tony Popovic.

Both as a head coach and a goalkeeping specialist Corry has truly made his mark on football in Australia. Listing among his successful graduates is Manchester United keeper Mark Bosnich, AC Milan custodian Zeljko Kalac and Western Sydney Wanderers very own Ante Covic.

The coaching veteran is one of if not the oldest professional coach in Australia and still holds the record for the shortest keeper to have played for the Socceroos at just 172cm. He made up for his height the same way he is still managing to coach at the highest level, in an undeniable passion for football.

Image Credit: Laurie Schwab collection