After yesterday’s punishing session in Gosford, today was far from arduous, though the players got a workout of sorts signing hundreds of autographs for fans in Sydney’s CBD, visiting sick kids in hospital before suiting up for a glitzy farewell dinner at the Opera House.
Day 8 was the first for the Socceroos in Sydney after a week on the Central Coast in Terrigal.
The squad travelled down late on Wednesday night as the entire 30-man squad got together for the first time in Sydney.
For the last players to have arrived in camp, medical checks and meetings with team management were the first order of business.
Then as a group, it was off to Westfield Pitt St Mall for a public appearance in front of around 600 fans in the CBD at 1pm.
Behind the barriers, fans patiently lined up for the players to autograph their Socceroo merch while Nike’s official Socceroo jersey stand popped up for fans to purchase the new kit.
Warming up the crowd before the Socceroos arrived on stage was Fox Sports’ Adam Peacock who did his usual impressive job before introducing singing sensation Samantha Jade.
Clad in black jeans and leather jacket, the diminutive X-factor winner performed her official song for the Socceroos “Up” along with her two back up dancers.
She charmed the around 1000 fans and following the performance she had her own autographs session as the Socceroos – all 30 of them – piled on stage for a QnA with Adam Peacock and to sign autographs for the fans on stage.
In the afternoon some of the Socceroos visited the Children’s Hospital while others took part in commercial obligations before the evening event at the Opera House.
It was glitzy night as dignitaries mixed with players and administrators at the Socceroos Official Farewell Dinner.
The hard work kicks in again tomorrow, but for today it was about meeting the fans, spreading some cheer and looking sharp in their new MJ Bale suits.
Send Off the Socceroos
Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB
Monday 26 May 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!
ABC Grandstand will have live coverage of the match from 1900-2135 AEST on ABC Grandstand Digital across Australia, online and via the phone app.
You can also tune in on digital SBS Radio 3 and SBS Radio 4, Digital TV, online at sbs.com.au/radio or via the SBS Your Language App.