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.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t