Day 6 Wrap: training and family time in Caltex Socceroos camp
It was a lighter day in Caltex Socceroos camp with just the one training session as the players got the afternoon off to spend time with visiting family and friends.
But the intensity didn’t die down as Bert van Marwijk continues to push his players hard to ensure they are ready to go come the start of the FIFA World Cup.
DAY 5 WRAP: Intensity continues to rise for Caltex Socceroos
All 23 players in camp – minus Tom Rogic, Mile Jedinak and Danny Vukovic – who are yet to arrive – trained as Bert van Marwijk put his squad through another testing session in the early morning heat in Antalya.
But there was a difference on Day 6 with only the one session held as players and staff had the opportunity to relax and enjoy some time with loved ones who had made the trip to Turkey.
Before that though the players were made to work hard by the boss in a session that lasted just over an hour.
After the squad went through their extensive warm-up, led by long-serving head physio Les Gelis, it was straight into different passing and possession drills.
Mat Ryan and Brad Jones went off to do their work under goalkeeping coach Tony Franken.
As has been the case for much of the first week in camp, van Marwijk and his assistants have been stressing the need for quick passing and movement, being sure in their touch and decision making.
WATCH THE EXCLUSIVE BEHIND THE SCENES VISION OF CALTEX SOCCEROOS DAY 6 IN TURKEY IN THE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE
The warm conditions mean the players are pushed to their limits and forced to make fast decisions under fatigue.
“There’s a bit of humidity and a bit of heat but it’s all part of the game,” defender Milos Degenek said.
“Obviously the World Cup is in Summer and while I don’t think Russia will be as warm as it is here in Turkey, obviously it will help us adapt a lot more to the heat and how we want to play.
“[These conditions] will help us when we get to Russia where it will be a bit lighter and it should be a little easier for us.”
Towards the end of the session, van Marwijk split the group in two and played a full-sized 11 v 11 match.
After a warm down and stretching on the pitch it was back to the team hotel for a recovery session in the pool before the players were given their first afternoon off to re-unite with family and friends.
It’s an important time for the players to be able to switch off from the rigours of what’s been a gruelling first week in the pre-World Cup training camp.
For experienced keeper Jones, who turned 36 earlier this year, he’s relishing being back in with a chance to play at a World Cup after being forced to withdraw from the squad in 2010 for family reasons.
Admitting a few months ago he thought he’d be “watching the World Cup on the box”, now here in camp, he’s pushing for the number one jersey.
WATCH OUR EXCLUSIVE CHAT WITH GOALKEEPER BRAD JONES IN THE VIDEO BELOW
“You have to have that mindset. I didn’t come in to roll over and give it to someone else,” Jones told www.socceroos.com.au.
“At the same time, I respect Maty [Ryan] in what he’s done. He’s done it for the last four years and done it for the Socceroos and for his team as well.
“I’m not saying I’m going to walk in and just get it but I want to push as hard as I can and say ‘I’ve had a go’ if it comes down to it.”
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