Corey's going, going, 'Gong...

EXCLUSIVE: Sydney FC’s new striker Corey Gameiro has issued a public come and get me to future Wollongong A-League bids - though that scenario may still be five to ten years away.

Gameiro, 20, was born and raised in Wollongong and still lives there while travelling to Sydney each day for training.
 
The exciting Young Socceroos forward is proud of the region, its history, the players and fans.
 
He believes when the A-League expands, a Wollongong/South Coast option makes sense - and the former Fulham player wants in.
 
“If I was say 27, 28 I’d be the first person to put pen to paper down there,” he told au.fourfourtwo.com as he admitted his regret about the lack of a local South Coast side in the A-League.
 
“As a Port Kembla boy from Wollongong, it’s a bit disappointing but I hope in the future we can get our act together.
 
“It’s a great set up and players have talent down there. They’ve got every facility they need. WIN Stadium has one of the best surfaces. It’s unbelievable. The stadium’s all been done up.
 
"There’s still time. I’m sure in the next 10 years there’ll be more clubs put into the A-League."
 
Gameiro went to school with Matildas star Caitlin Foord and the FIFA best young player at the 2011 World Cup also played in a local side with the striker.
 
She is just one of a number of talents from the region, such as Reading keeper Adam Federici, Mile Sterjovski, Jacob Timpano, Brendon Santalab, Scott Chipperfield and others including recently deceased former Australian captain Bob Bignall.
 
A South Coast United A-League bid stalled some four years ago after the FFA opted for Gold Coast and Townsville for expansion.
 
“It’s disappointing that the A-League has been hidden from the area and off the radar," added Gameiro. 
 
“I want there to be a chance in the future but there’s got to be someone to come in with a bit of money and real direction to say what needs to happen, because at the moment there’s no-one down there who wants to step up and do it.
 
"I’m from Wollongong Wolves and I support them heavily and we want the best kids from Wollongong to play there rather than hiding away at club teams, because Wollongong produces players.
 
"History has proved this, there are players down there it’s just there’s no real pathway down there to get noticed so they have to leave.”
 
FFA have publicly stated expansion is off the agenda for the next four years or so but it doesn’t mean Gameiro can’t dream of the day Wollongong's WIN Stadium hosts the region’s own A-League outfit.
 
Gameiro will get his wish for A-League football in his hometown soon though, albeit in a Sydney FC friendly. 
 
At the picturesque beachside venue of WIN, the Sky Blues meet Newcastle Jets on Saturday September 14 (kick off 5.30pm) in a pre-season friendly.
 
Gameiro has already been inundated with messages from friends and family who want to see him play.
 
“And it’s good for Sydney FC to have someone from down there in Wollongong – I’ve had people say to me they’ll buy a Sydney FC membership because of me being from there,” he said.
 
The lively forward made his senior NSW Premier League debut for the Wolves – a former two-time NSL champion in 2000 and 2001 – as a 15-year-old before drifting away to further his career.
 
He moved to Sydney and what followed was a career at Fulham, Wellington Phoenix and now back in Sydney with the revamped Sky Blues.
 
Gameiro said he’s been impressed by the professionalism of the A-League compared to Fulham, where he spent two years from 2011 (which included loan spells in England, Holland and at Phoenix before he inked a deal with the Sky Blues).
 
This season he is likely to play as a left-sided striker in a 4-3-3 although that’s not set in stone just yet.
 
“We’re still working on a few things but it’s difficult to say," he said. "Hopefully I’ll be somewhere in the front line.
 
"And the great thing is there are no cliques here; the team feels good and everyone’s really, really close. I’m happy with everything at the moment.”
 
Gameiro, who has an English mother and Portuguese father, also explained that some tentative inquiries from the Portugal FA were made after a recent Young Socceroos friendly in Portugal.
 
But Gameiro is firmly in the Aussie camp even though he was disappointed not to be part of the recent EAFF Cup where a number of Young Socceroos were called up.
 
He added: “I’d rather put on a national team shirt that I really want to wear, than put on a shirt I’m not sure about."
 

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