The Caltex Socceroos trained in Sydney for the first time on Sunday but skipper Mile Jedinak was a notable absentee as he battles to be fit for Tuesday’s crucial FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier against Jordan.
Jedinak was the only member of the 23-man squad which didn’t take part of the session in front of more than 1000 fans at Kogarah’s Jubilee Oval.
It’s understood the Crystal Palace midfielder is battling a thigh problem which has him in doubt to play in the decisive clash against Jordan at Allianz Stadium.
Jedinak, who was replaced at half-time of Thursday’s 7-0 win over Tajikistan, will need to take part in Monday’s final session to line-up against Harry Redknapp’s side.
If he doesn’t recover in time then Mark Milligan looms as the obvious choice to start in the holding midfield role.
The remaining 22 players were all fully involved in the session, which began with warm-up running and a stretch, while the three keepers went off for their own training with goalkeeper coach Tony Franken.
This was followed by a simple pass and move drill, with the players passing between poles to a teammate and following the ball.
In three separate groups then they advanced to a more advanced passing drill, which involved playing a one-two with a teammate before again making a pass through the poles to another player on the other side.
After a quick drinks break, it was into two bigger groups for a higher intensity passing drill which involved more movement and incisive passing.
The group then progressed to an 8v3 possession drill, with the attacking side trying to play through the three defenders, focusing on fast ball movement, one-touch, forward movement and pressing.
Defenders were urged to shut down the ball while the attacking side were instructed to recycle the ball quickly and with purpose.
Players alternated between attack and defence with the group urged to maintain their intensity throughout.
After around 40 minutes the session was over before the players warmed down, then signed endless autographs and had photos with the huge turnout of Socceroos fans who’d turned out on Easter Sunday.
This was the last public session for the Socceroos before preparations go behind closed doors on Monday for a final hit-out ahead of the crucial Jordan clash.
All eyes will be on Jedinak and whether he’ll be fit to take his spot in the starting XI.
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