It was a mix of glamour and mundane routine for Ange Postecoglou's World Cup hopefuls who took their first serious steps towards Brazil on Thursday.
Day one in “Camp Socceroo” on the NSW Central Coast went off without a hitch as 15 members of the 30-man preliminary squad arrived in picturesque Terrigal to begin preparations for next month's tournament.
As the players trickled in to their luxurious base camp for the next week, they started by undergoing a medical screening to ensure they are in the good condition.
The players were then given their team gear for training as well as fitted out in their plush new suits which will ensure the Socceroos certainly look the part in Brazil.
The whole scenario has been a real eye-opener for young defender Jason Davidson, who concedes the enormity of what's ahead is starting to hit home.
"It's nice to be here and see a few of the boys and really get ready to get down to work," he told www.footballaustralia.com.au.
"It's really exciting firstly just to be in the squad but now I suppose you have to work even harder to make sure you're on that plane to Brazil.
"Ange hasn't said a lot yet but we know training is going to be hard and important for us and I think we're just looking forward to getting started.
"I've been working hard all season, I had pretty good form and I'm trying to bring that confidence into the national team. If I do that I think Ange will stick by me and I have to repay the favour."
Postecoglou will get his first chance to run the rule over his squad hopefuls on Friday afternoon, with their first training session set down at Central Coast Stadium.
With Postecoglou needing to cut three players before the squad departs for Brazil, the sessions are sure to be intense as everyone aims to state their case for inclusion.
"I think will be very intense and very competitive. Everybody is going to be doing everything they can to try and show their worth," winger Tommy Oar said.
"I think it's a good environment for the camp because it will increase the intensity of the training.
"Ange, when I've worked with him in the past, he's one that likes hard work.
"No one takes their spot for granted when Ange is the coach and it's kind of refreshing. It's refreshed the whole team and brought a new energy to training and to games.
"If you don't perform in one training session or game then you can lose your spot but you can make your spot if you do well.
"So I guess that's the perfect atmosphere to maximise the level."
The majority of the rest of the squad will continue to filter in over the next day or so, with the rest who have matches abroad this weekend to link up with the side when they move to Sydney next week.
Don’t forget the Socceroos are playing in Sydney in May so send them off to Brazil in style.
Send Off the Socceroos
Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB
Monday 26 May 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t