With the English Championship season getting underway this weekend, we’re looking back at how the clubs that feature Caltex Socceroos are shaping up ahead of what promises to be another action-packed campaign.
We start with London outfit Queens Park Rangers who will be hoping new manager Steve McClaren can mastermind a serious push for Premier League promotion in 2018/19.
AUSSIES ABROAD: Garuccio hits stunner, wins for Vukovic and Degenek
And Caltex Socceroos playmaker Massimo Luongo will again be a midfield lynchpin for QPR.
The 25-year-old is arguably approaching the best form of his career and should start in the club’s Championship opener at Preston North End this weekend.
QPR’S PRE-SEASON RESULTS
QPR 3-3 Charlton Athletic
QPR 3-0 Barnet
Staines Town 0-7 QPR
AFC Wimbledon 0-1 QPR
Hoffenheim 2-2 QPR
Hoffenheim 3-0 QPR
QPR 3-0 Union Berlin
Luongo went to the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with the Caltex Socceroos and as a result was a latecomer to QPR’s pre-season.
He began training with the rest of the squad in the middle of July and has taken part in two of the last three pre-season friendlies.
The first came on July 21 when he got through 45 minutes as QPR came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.
After falling behind to a brace from David Otto, McClaren’s men got back into the game through a Toni Leistner header before Ryan Manning completed the comeback with just two minutes left.
“It was tough – the first game of pre-season always is,” Luongo said on QPR’s website.
“It was good to get some minutes and to learn what the boys have been working on for the last two or three weeks.
“I am a little bit behind fitness-wise and in terms of the structure of how we play but I thought the boys did really well and we looked good out there.”
He also started QPR’s final pre-season clash over the weekend, a dominant 3-0 win over Union Berlin in what was the perfect hitout before their Championship season opener.
Focus shifts to home games in November after Kuwait win
With the first test passed with flying colours, Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos will swiftly turn their focus to November’s home friendlies against Korea Republic and Lebanon. Arnold’s tenure got off to a dream start on Tuesday morning (AEDT) with his side strolling to a 4-0
‘It’s a big dream come true’: Mabil, Deng proud to make Caltex Socceroos debuts
Almost a decade ago they were young kids kicking a ball together at the local park, dreaming of playing professional football. Fast forward nine years and good mates Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng made their Caltex Socceroos debuts together in a thumping 4-0 win over Kuwait.
Arnie’s Caltex Socceroos take shape as attacking stars shine
The Graham Arnold era has gotten off to a flying start, less than three months out from the opening game of the Caltex Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup title defence. Apostolos Giannou, Tom Rogic, debutant Awer Mabil and an own goal were the difference as Australia cruised to a 4-0 wi
Caltex Socceroos outclass Kuwait as Arnie starts with a win
Graham Arnold’s reign as new Caltex Socceroos boss has got off to a dream start with Australia crushing Kuwait 4-0 on Tuesday morning (AEDT). In a perfect beginning to Australian football’s new era, the Caltex Socceroos scored twice in each half to cap an encouraging and excit