Podcast Episode 6: Final word ahead of UAE, meet the Socceroos’ mind coach

The Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Quarter Final against UAE is almost here and we’ve got the latest episode of the Socceroos Podcast to get you in the mood.

Michael Zappone and Socceroos media officer Ben O’Neill provide great behind-the-scenes access ahead of the big match in Al Ain on Saturday morning (AEDT).

MATCH PREVIEW: United Arab Emirates v Socceroos
DOWNLOAD: Official Socceroos AFC Asian Cup wallpaper

You will hear from Socceroos boss Graham Arnold at his official pre-match press conference, while Zappa’s speaks with Mathew Leckie and assistant coach Rene Meulensteen after the team’s final training session.

There’s also an in-depth chat with one of the newest members of the Socceroos’ coaching staff, Emotional Resilience & Mind Coach Mike Conway.

Listen to the full podcast in the player ABOVE.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold (4min)

Arnie previews the big game and talks about how Australia – as host nation – beat UAE in the 2015 Asian Cup, with the roles now reversed ahead of the last-eight clash.

“We’re proud of the fact of 2015 but this is totally different tournament and totally different teams,” he said.

“If you ask my players would they rather play against 25,000 people against UAE as home nation or play against Uzbekistan and 3,000 people, all of them would say 25,000 and UAE.

“Everyone likes to play in great atmospheres. So far, the fans have been fantastic at every stadium and added great atmosphere.

“We’ve got experienced players that can deal with that type of emotion. It’s all about the mentality of the players and making sure we’re ready for that.”

Socceroos training

Socceroos attacker Mathew Leckie (7min31 secs)

Leckie, who slotted the winning penalty against Uzbekistan, discusses the dramatic Round of 16 clash while also touches on his fitness after making his first appearance of the tournament following his recovery from a hamstring injury.

“I feel good. I wasn’t expecting to play [60 minutes] but it ended up working out like that,” Leckie said.

“I was a bit sore after the game, being out for a few weeks, but with the recovery we’ve done, and we’ve been really focused on that, I’m feeling really good again.

“I’m feeling fresh so if I am most of the boys are. We’ll be buzzing for the game.”

Socceroos assistant coach Rene Meulensteen (10mins 45secs)

Meulensteen previews the clash against UAE, who have vowed to come out and attack the Socceroos.

“It is always very difficult if you come up against opponents that basically start the game not to lose it,” Meulensteen said.

GOOD VIBES: Leckie says Socceroos are buzzing ahead of UAE clash
ULTIMATE GUIDE: All you need to know ahead of Socceroos v UAE

“Then it’s for us to break them down. You need the quality, you need the speed of play, but you also need things going for you.

“The chances you create, you need to put in the back of the net. But if a team plays to win it becomes a more expansive game and that will definitely suit us.”


Socceroos’ emotional resilience and mind coach Mike Conway (12mins 20secs)

In an in-depth interview, Conway opens up on everything from how he first became involved with football at Sydney FC, his experience with the Socceroos so far and how he helps players deal with the different challenges that can present themselves both on and off the field.

Listen to the full interview in the player ABOVE or the video BELOW.