Day 26 Wrap: Anticipation building as 2018 FIFA World Cup™ gets underway

Excitement is building in the Caltex Socceroos camp ahead of their FIFA World Cup™ opener with the squad ramping up their preparations behind closed doors in their penultimate training session before Saturday’s clash with France.

And after another crucial session where they again worked on their tactical preparation, the side also watched the tournament opener between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Here’s a wrap of Day 26 in Socceroos camp, brought to you by Caltex. Stay tuned to we provide daily updates for the FIFA World Cup™…

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DAY 25 WRAP: Inside the Caltex Socceroos Kazan training base

After Thursday morning’s usual media commitments – with Mark Milligan and Tim Cahill facing the press – the players hit the pitch again as they get set for their opening match in Group C.

With kick-off against France fast approaching – live on SBS and Optus Sport at 8pm (AEST) on Saturday – the session was open for just the first 15 minutes before the staff closed the gates from the media.

Tim Cahill faced the media in Kazan on Thursday.
Tim Cahill faced the media in Kazan on Thursday.

It was the final session at the team’s base at Stadium Trudovye Rezervy before they get onto the pitch for their match day -1 training hitout inside the Kazan Arena on Friday.

For winger Robbie Kruse, who is about to play in his first FIFA World Cup™, kick-off against France can’t come quick enough as the team prepare to put into practice all they have been working on since coming together in May.

“[The anticipation] is growing every day,” Kruse told

“We’ve been in camp for a month now, sometimes it can drag on but credit to the staff they have done a really good job of keeping the atmosphere really good, training is really fun.

“We know we have worked really hard leading up to this first game, everyone is really anxious and excited but hopefully we can implement the style we have to do and get a result.”


From the moment the Caltex Socceroos arrived in Kazan they have soaked up the atmosphere of the tournament and also had the chance to get out amongst the locals.

More than three thousand turned up to watch their first training session on Monday, with Kruse hoping the locals will get behind Australia against France, who will travel to the match from their base in Moscow.

“Hopefully [the locals] grow accustomed to us and get behind us,” the Bochum winger said.

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“And any bit of less travel is always going to be a positive thing, even though it’s not too far but there’s still the time waste of doing it all.

“We’re lucky we’re based here, and the game is here. There’s no bus rides, everything is within walking distance so I think that’s a positive outcome for us.”

Robbie Kruse in training alongside Mathew Leckie and Mile Jedinak.
Robbie Kruse in training alongside Mathew Leckie and Mile Jedinak.

Keep up to date with the team as they face France in Kazan:

Caltex Socceroos Official Twitter - @Socceroos

Caltex Socceroos Official Facebook -


France v Caltex Socceroos - Match Centre

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