The Socceroos and the Asian Cup have a golden chance to showcase football during one of the biggest sporting months of the Australian summer, says coach Ange Postecoglou.
Speaking at the team’s first press conference before around 11 Socceroos took part in the team's first training session in Melbourne, Postecoglou was upbeat about the impact the national team can make in January, one of the most crowded months in the sporting calendar.
“You’ve got a test match going on across the road, the Aussie Open tennis in a few weeks and we just had 20,000 fans at AAMI Park for Melbourne Victory last night, ” Postecoglou said.
“And no doubt from our perspective we’ll be looking to make the Asian Cup the biggest tournament in the next month or so in this country.”
The squad is set to arrive over the next few days with games being played in Europe.
By Wednesday there should be the entire 23 players in camp when the final two arrivals fly in.
As for what he’ll do with his squad over the next 12 days, Postecoglou said it wasn’t about physically “smashing them” in the lead up to the first game on January 9 against Kuwait at AAMI.
“It’s a bit more scientific then smashing the boys,” he explained.
“We’re in a pretty good position with most of the boys playing up until now. There are a couple of exceptions such as Alex Wilkinson in Korea and Timmy Cahill.
“But even with those guys we’ve been across them with daily contact making sure they are doing the work is needed.
“The next nine of ten days is really just about fine-tuning our game-plan and making sure the players are comfortable about how we want to approach things.
“And seeing who’s up for it in that first XI. I’ll make it nice and competitive so every one of the boys is ready to play come January 9.
"So from our perspective the works starts today even though not everyone is here."
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