Day 4 Wrap: Van Marwijk ups the ante in training

The Caltex Socceroos know the FIFA World Cup is edging ever nearer as Bert van Marwijk upped the ante at training on Day 4 of camp.

Milos Degenek was another player to arrive, as just Tom Rogic, Danny Vukovic and Mile Jedinak are still to land in Antalya, Turkey. Plus, Trent Sainsbury gave insight into the mood in camp as all 26 players in the extended squad dream of a ticket to Russia.

DAY 3 WRAP: 'It's unusual to be training this hard in camp'

READ: Nabbout reveals van Marwijk's influence on Caltex Socceroos

Here’s a wrap of Day 4 in Socceroos camp, brought to you by Caltex. Stay tuned to as we provide daily updates before Russia 2018 …

We’re at the stage of the pre-World Cup training camp where things start to ramp up, as all players except Milos Degenek – an afternoon arrival on Day 4 – trained.

Just like the previous days, there was a morning gym session where the players did some work on the bikes, as well as balance and stability exercises.


Bike work was on the menu in the gym
Bike work was on the menu in the gym
Socceroos physio Les Gelis as players did core and balance exercises
Socceroos physio Les Gelis as players did core and balance exercises

Yet it was out on the training park where the players were split into teams for an internal 11v11 game.

After the warm up, assistant coaches Roel Coumans and Ante Milicic led the players in a ‘keepy up’ race. The 20 outfield players were split into two teams. From there the two teams had to stand in two lines and head the ball back and forth up the line with the first to 20 winning.

But as the training game neared and the warm up was over, players moved into a more expansive passing exercise with van Marwijk and his staff emphasising quick ball speed and touches.

Then came the real fun. The game.

Four lots of 15 minutes, where the coaches watched on, rarely stopping for correction.

It’s the kind of opportunity that allows van Marwijk to further instil his style on the team.

“He knows what he wants and slowly we’re understanding that but quick enough to be ready for what’s ahead,” defender Trent Sainsbury told

“He has a specific idea which he’s implementing now.”

Mathew Leckie during the Socceroos training game on Day 4
Mathew Leckie during the Socceroos training game on Day 4
Trent Sainsbury in camp in Turkey

But with the first game in Kazan against France just three weeks away, there is a dream on the horizon for players to live.

“It will be hard not to imagine what’s ahead, what’s at stake and what the possibilities are of the games,” added Sainsbury, who hit form and fitness with his club side Grasshopper Zurich after returning from injury in March.

“Every kid dreams of going to a World Cup and I still dream that to this day. Until I’m out there on the pitch, I’ll keep dreaming.”

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