This week for "Forever Green: Where are they now?" we caught up with our former prop Mark Corvo who made 50 appearances in two stints with the club.
Canberra Raider #150
What do you do for work now?
I bought a business about ten years ago up in Brisbane. It's a renovation joinery business. Kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations and some commercial joinery. It was completely new for me, I previously had a wine and oyster bar in Canberra with my brother when I was living there and playing.
Post footy, like for most of the retiring players, there wasn't anything specific for me to go to career wise so I tried a few things. But ultimately, I wanted to do my own thing and control my own future so I bought a business. It gives myself a career for the next short to mid term with the next 10-15 years.
What's your favourite memory as a Raider?
I'm a Canberra boy so it was nice playing for the local team but playing with some greats and some future immortals of the game was definitely a highlight. Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart, Brad Clyde, Brett Mullens, Jason Croker, those guys who are my friends today. Being a young kid from Canberra and playing with those types of players was such a huge thrill for me.
What did it mean to you to wear the Raiders jersey?
It was a huge thrill for me being only a young kid just having finished off at school at Hawker College in Canberra. The year after I finished school, I made my debut after a couple of pre-season games which were also a big thrill. I think it was Round 2 that I played my first game when I got named on the bench and as a Canberra kid it was a really proud moment.
Who was your favourite teammate?
There was a few of us coming through at the same time that were the guys I had played in the 20's with and then played NRL with. Luke Davico, Simon Woolford, Jason Burnham and myself were tagged as a bit of a rat-pack, a bit of a crew. We were all really good mates and still good mates today.
I reckon Brett Mullins was the most talented player I played with though. He could run, could catch and was just purely gifted with his skill. And even at my time in Brisbane I played with some superstars like Darren Lockyer, Wendell Sailor and Gordon Tallis but I reckon Mullins was definitely the most talented that I played with.
Do you keep in touch with any of your former teammates?
There's a few of us that catch up from time to time when we can. Obviously, Luke Davico and Simon Woolford are ones that I talk to regularly. Jason Croker is another one that I speak to fairly regularly and catch up when we can.
The old boys functions are a good way to catch up with all of the boys and we all just pick up from where we left off.
What was your funniest moment as a Raider?
The 1994 Grand Final when the Raiders beat the Bulldogs. Johnny Lomax was suspended for the Grand Final because of a high shot against Norths. There was three of us in the running to replace Johnny; one was myself, one was my good mate Luke Davico and the other was Paul Osborne and Ossie ended up going on to play probably the best 20 minutes of footy he's ever played and they won the game.
But in the lead up to the game, Tim Sheens said to myself and Luke on the Wednesday that we wouldn't be playing and if we wanted to be part of the day we could come and sit with the team on the bench or you can get changed into the gear as well.
I thought it was a bit weird because obviously we weren't playing and didn't think it was the right thing to do but Luke thought it would be the right thing to do so he brought his playing kit on the day.
Leading into that day, Luke and I had a couple of big nights celebrating the end of the season and stayed in Sydney the night before the Grand Final. We ventured out to the stadium to watch reserve grade and have a few drinks. After reserve grade had finished we decided to go over the other side to be with the team.
Sheensy came out of the tunnel and saw us and said g'day and Luke told him he had brought the gear. So Sheensy said "C'mon then, get changed". His gear was in his car which was about 2km away and Sheensy had gone back up the tunnel so he tried to get me to go and get it from the car for him and I said "No way in the world am I going to get it".
Sheensy came back out from the tunnel and ten minutes later said to Luke "What are you doing? Why aren't you getting changed?" and he told him I wouldn't go and get his gear. So Sheensy told me to go and get his gear and I had to walk all the way to the SCG carpark and brought it back about five minutes before kick-off. Luke went into the changeroom and put his full kit on, borrowed a pair of shorts, a jumper that didn't have the Winfield Cup badge on the sleeve.
The players come steaming out of the tunnel with Mal leading them out and myself and a few of the other boys were sitting and wondering where Luke was. About 15 seconds later, out he storms onto the field and that's after we'd had a drink in the grandstand about an hour before.
They lined up for the national anthem and if you watch the TV coverage when the camera pans from one player to the next and eventually they get right down the end and there he is right at the end of the line singing the national anthem with his hands behind his back bellowing it out at the top of his voice. We were watching thinking look at this idiot out there on the field. They finished the anthem and he runs off with the reserves and yells "how good was that" as we are sitting there laughing and shaking our heads.
After the game he managed to get a medal, he stole Albert Fulivai's medal who was in the squad. I don't think there was anyone that carried the J.J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup more than Luke Davico on the victory lap.
Do you have any advice for younger players?
Just enjoy the time you get to play footy because it goes really quickly and make sure you get as much experience during that time which will help you build a future post footy.