The Socceroos trained on a hot Sunday afternoon in Melbourne as they began preparations for the 2015 Asian Cup in January.
The session was held on the excellent surface of Collingwood AFL club's base next door to AAMI Park.
The Socceroos who trained were: Ivan Franjic, Mark Bresciano, Alex Wilkinson, Tim Cahill, Mitch Langerak, Eugene Galekovic, Tommy Oar, Mark Milligan, Mat Leckie, Robbie Kruse and Terry Antonis.
Defender Trent Sainsbury ran a few gentle laps away from the main group with a trainer.
In total 12 players were involved.
After a warm-up the keepers moved into their part of the pitch to commence their specialist training with coach Tony Franken.
Langerak in particular looked sharp working alongside Eugene Galekovic.
The entire session for the outfield players from that point on was taken by Socceroo assistant coach Ante Milicic.
His first drill was to give the players a feel of the ball with inside and outside touches around cones.
“First day back, get those good touches,” he exhorted. “Bravo, bravo” he shouted.
All players looked comfortable on the ball as they moved between the cones with the ball back and forth, side to side dragging and caressing the ball.
After a drinks break, this progressed to short passing drills as the players were eased into the session.
Following this was a more structured drill with the Socceroos passing and moving between poles using wall passes and quick touches.
Two touch and one touch was the mantra as the players were pushed a little harder to time runs and passes by Milicic.
After around an hour the session in the heat of a Melbourne summer’s day was over with a stretch down for all players.
With a perfect view of Melbourne’s impressive sporting precinct of Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, the MCG and AAMI Park, the session underlined coach Ange Postecoglou’s earlier assertion in the press conference.
He wants the Aussie sporting public to embrace something special during January’s crowded month of sport in Australia with the Socceroos and the Asian Cup.
The serious stuff of preparing for the tournament has begun.
Make sure you get your family and friends together and RISE with the Socceroos! Tickets are available by clicking here www.socceroos.com.au/tickets
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