There was some fun on the training park as the Caltex Socceroos enjoyed a sharp finishing session on day two of training in Kazan, Russia.
With Saturday’s opening FIFA World Cup™ game against France fast approaching, shown live on SBS and Optus Sport at 8pm AEST, there was also time for the players to complete their official team photo.
The test of France is just three days away for the Caltex Socceroos, who were treated to a spot of finishing in a fun session aimed at helping the team freshen up following a gruelling three week training camp in Turkey and two preparation friendlies.
Those three weeks saw Australia concentrate on their defensive shape, with Bert van Marwijk and his staff demanding everything with the ball be done quickly, and without the ball the team restricts spaces for the opposition to work in.
“Something we’ve been working on is our defensive structure and forcing teams to break us down and give less chances away in front of goal,” explained left back Aziz Behich during Tuesday’s press conference in Kazan.
“We analysed our last game [against Hungary] and there were lots of positives to take out but we know we can do a lot better.”
Behich added: “We need to be compact, because if we’re compact we have a lot of high quality players up front to hurt teams with our speed and quality in front of goal.
“Firstly it was important organised our defensive structure as a unit, and I think we’ve nailed that.”
Yet when it came to Tuesday’s training session, there was a clear point of difference.
Before the session even began, players got fully kitted out in their Nike home kit for their official FIFA World Cup™ team photo.
With the more than 30-strong team of support staff also part of the official photos, the players soon after got changed into their training gear to get out on the pitch in Kazan for the second time following yesterday’s open training session.
After some 8v3 rondos, which saw the players forced to move the ball in tight spaces under immense pressure, the session then evolved into two finishing exercises – where the real fun started.
The attacking flair from the likes of Daniel Arzani and Andrew Nabbout came to the fore, with both attempting spectacular acrobatics from crosses.
Yet the most memorable moment of the session came from defender Milos Degenek who produced a top corner bomb from outside the box that flew past shotstopper Danny Vukovic.
WATCH MILOS DEGENEK'S SCREAMER IN THE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE ARTICLE
“Bravo Milos,” was the cry from teammates in a session that frequently erupted into praise and laughter.
To add to the amusement, Degenek then immediately scored a first time volley into the bottom corner to wheel away in celebration before reminding socceroos.com.au cameras that he had now scored three on the bounce.
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