New faces Apostolos Giannou and Jason Geria joined established stars like Tim Cahill and skipper Mile Jedinak as the Caltex Socceroos hit the track for the first time in Adelaide on Monday.
Just three days out from Thursday’s FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia™ Qualifier against Tajikistan, 13 of the squad took part in the session at Adelaide Oval.
Another six of the squad will arrive in camp on Monday night while the rest, including keeper Mat Ryan, join up later on Tuesday.
The Socceroos who trained fully were Cahill, Jedinak, Geria, Giannou, Alex Wilkinson, Bailey Wright, Mark Milligan, Ryan McGowan, Trent Sainsbury, Nathan Burns, Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic.
Head physiotherapist Les Gelis got the session started with some dynamic stretching followed by a light warm-up.
The squad then broke into two groups with Cahill, Burns, Wright, Jedinak, Geria, Rogic and Luongo doing light duties with conditioning guru Craig Duncan.
The rest went with assistant Ante Millicic and undertook a series of dribbling drills intertwined with some sprints to increase intensity.
The pace soon quickened as they moved onto a 4 v 2 passing drill with the defenders urged to close down the player in possession.
After a drinks break, Millicic’s group then progressed to a larger passing drill, focused on moving into space, ball speed and correct body shape when receiving the ball.
“Ball speed has to be high,” Millicic barked at the boys.
“Open your body and good touches makes it easier.”
After around 50 minutes the session came to a close with a gentle stretch down and a drink before it was back to the change rooms.
While it was a quick and light session to start the week, the intensity is sure to increase on Tuesday as more players get involved and game day edges closer.
The group will train in front of hundreds of fans on Tuesday as the Socceroos open the gates for a fan day, with the locals able to watch the entire session before getting the chance to meet their heroes afterwards.