Graham Arnold's Squad Update: What's next for the Socceroos
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has provided an update on the squad, how the staff have been keeping in touch and what football will look like after COVID-19.
The Socceroos, who sit top of Group B, would have been in the thick of their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and preparing for a Copa America tournament had the coronavirus pandemic not brought the game to a grinding halt.
With the spread of the virus now under control in many countries, some competitions overseas have been given the go-ahead to resume for the first time in three months and Arnold expressed his delight to see Socceroos squad members return to action.
"It's great to see the boys back on the pitch playing," Arnold told Socceroos.com.au.
"I know that it's been a difficult time for all the players not being able to get on to the pitch and perform.
"They love to play football and the fact that they're missing that at the moment has been tough."
Watch Graham Arnold's Socceroos Squad Update in the video player at the top!
Socceroos from the Bundesliga, Danish Superliga, K-League, Serbian Superliga and Israeli Premier League have all been back in action over recent weeks.
Arnold and his staff have been conducting weekly ZOOM meetings with the players to check on their fitness and mental health.
Despite the lengthy delay in football, the national team coach said he expects everyone to return in good condition.
"In terms of isolation and training, some clubs and players get better resources than other players at different clubs, in different countries around the world," he said.
"People just think that players would automatically know what to do in isolation or, training on their own, but they don't.
"What's important for them is the type of exercises that they do to keep fit, so we have to make sure they're doing the right thing.
"I expect all the boys to come back in very good condition with no weight put on and ready to resume all competitions."
The Socceroos were due to play their final four matches from the current phase of FIFA World Cup qualifying against Kuwait, Nepal, Taiwan and Jordan in March and June.
Arnold admitted that he had devised an "unbelievable plan" to unleash on the Copa America and qualifying campaign, but those plans have now been put on hold.
"It's pretty much all up in the air at the moment," Arnold explained.
"Nothing has been cancelled, it’s all been postponed and it's going to be a matter of how FIFA help the AFC fit everything into a calendar year so the World Cup can be still held in Qatar in 2022."