Thompson desperate to be involved in matches
The Socceroos attacking options have received a massive boost ahead of the double-header in the Middle East against Iraq and Qatar, with injured pair Josh Kennedy and Archie Thompson coming into camp.
Dubai: The Socceroos attacking options have received a massive boost ahead of the double-header in the Middle East against Iraq and Qatar, with injured pair Josh Kennedy and Archie Thompson coming into camp.
The pair have been on the sidelines for sometime now, although Thompson has played two second half cameos in Melbourne Victory-s matches against Chonburi and Italian giants Juventus.
Both joined in the first session the Socceroos had in Dubai (UAE) on early Tuesday evening, in what was surprisingly mild conditions (around high 20-s), which a few of the boys said would be okay come Saturday against Iraq.
While Kennedy trained separately from the group for the medical staff to assess where he is at with his injury, Thompson participated in all aspects of the session and is hopeful he can play some part in the remaining matches of the World Cup qualifiers.
For Thompson the last few months have been frustrating to say the least, missing three of Melbourne Victory-s Champions League matches, which was a major contributing factor for Victory-s poor run that saw them fall by the wayside.
“Its been a long road since I did the injury in my last Socceroos game (against China) and I am still hoping it (the knee) comes good,” he said shortly after the training session. “There is still a little bit of pain when I kick a ball but its slowly coming better.
“I was desperate to get back, as these are important games for the Socceroos and you always love to be part of it.”
Thompson is confident the knee is almost back to 100% and believes the training he will get while in camp, will help immensely.
“It-s good,” when asked how it was feeling. “I haven-t trained for a while since the game (against Juventus last Friday) and I pulled up a little stiff after training, but its coming along good.
“A few good sessions with the team and obviously with the great medical staff we have here, I am sure it-s going to come up good.”
So desperate was Thompson to be part of these games, he made sure he was at least ready to play some minutes against Chonburi and Juventus, although he did have a little scare against the Italian giants, when he was in some obvious discomfort in the dying minutes.
“I don-t like to blow my trumpet as they say, but I thought I did alright (he says with a little chuckle). I mean I haven-t been in the game for a while and I could probably count how many sessions I have done in those two months (since the injury) before the games on two hands.
“I am sure if I get more training and game time, I will become better and more confident.”
The fact that Thompson is here in camp with limited preparation, is a testament to Thompson-s worth to the National Team in the eyes of Pim and the coaching staff. And Thompson wants to repay that faith and will do everything he can to get some game time over the next three games.
“I am just happy that Pim gave me the opportunity to come and get my knee 100% and be ready for the games coming up and hopefully get an opportunity to come on do something for the team.
“I didn-t come here to just make up the numbers; I want to work hard; train hard and be on the pitch or support the team the best way I can.”
The Socceroos play Iraq in the fourth game of the third round of AFC World Cup qualifying. The match will be played in Dubai with Fox Sports showing a live telecast of the game from 2.00am (Sunday AEST).
www.footballaustralia.com.au will also have a live update of the match.