With all 23 players now in camp, including captain Mile Jedinak, the Socceroos took it up another notch at training on New Year's Eve morning. There was even some special guests from another code.
The session began in sunny conditions with a jersey presentation featuring stars from Collingwood AFL club, coach Nathan Buckley and star player Scott Pendlebury.
The Socceroos were presented with a Magpies jersey by the two before Buckley said a few words to the group (though with Ange Postecoglou a Carlton fan, one wonders how that went down with the Socceroo boss!).
Interestingly, Buckley and Pendlebury stayed on to discuss football with Postecoglou as the session began.
The main group did their warm ups as per usual but followed by some light sprints while Jedinak, Chris Herd and Aziz Behich, the last to come into camp, walked and stretched away from the main group.
Ivan Franjic, Massimo Luongo, Jason Davidson and Matt McKay trained separately though their work was slightly more intense.
Mat Ryan, Mitch Langerak and Eugene Galekovic all trained with the keeper coach Anthony Franken.
The first part of the session was a beep test known as “Yo-Yo” with the players put through their paces under the guidance of Dr Craig Duncan, a new addition to the Socceroo staff.
This went for around 10 minutes with breaks in between. A tough start to the session with the players having to sprint as a group in a time trial.
This was followed by Ante Milicic taking over the main group to again work on passing and moving between markers in a small area.
“Third man, angles, pass and move,” he exhorted. “Run onto the ball, don’t wait” were the instructions.
The ball speed was high and the movement intense.
The session, which lasted around an hour, ended with “rondo” and an eight v four small sided game and a warm down.
Expect shape work and tactics to come from the team as preparations for the first game ramp up over the coming days.
A number of fans turned up to watch Wednesday's session including former Socceroo Alan Davidson, father of Jason.
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