Massimo Luongo has admitted the Socceroos training camps have been the toughest of his career as the underdog Australians prepare to out-run and out-think their group opponents in Brazil.
With the squad flying out of Australia on May 29, the Australian squad has begun preparations with a camp on the Central Coast over the last week.
It’s part of Ange Postecoglou’s plan to have the Socceroos out-run and out-battle their most favoured opponents Chile, Holland and Spain.
And now the full squad of 30 players have moved to Sydney to complete preparations ahead of a flight to Brazil next week, the Swindon Town midfielder has been left in no doubt about the physical requirements for this Socceroo squad.
“It’s been really intense. Probably the most intense I’ve experienced [in my career],” Luongo told www.socceroos.com.au.
“It’s like half pre-season and half getting ready for the World Cup with tactical too.
“It’s got everything jammed into one session,” the 21-year-old former Sydney junior said at the Official Socceroos Farewell Dinner.
“Terrigal [Central Coast] was quite tough training and we’ll start again training tomorrow (Fri) which will be quite tough too.”
The League One central midfielder racked up over 50 games this season, so he comes into camp with a strong physical base.
“Physically I’m in good condition but this is another step here in the Australian squad, but I’ve adapted pretty well,” he said.
“It’s been good, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve met a lot of them for the first time but we’ve bonded well.
“It’s been brilliant, definitely.”
As for feedback from the man who’ll decide whether Luongo is in the final squad for Brazil, and the player was none the wiser.
“No, he [Ange Postecoglou] kind of keeps those things to himself. I know myself if I’m doing well or not. I know what I’ve got to do. Just be myself.
“I’d love to be involved [on Monday against South Africa].”
After yesterday’s punishing session in Gosford, today was far from arduous, though the players got a workout of sorts signing hundreds of autographs for fans in Sydney’s CBD, visiting sick kids in hospital before suiting up for their glitzy farewell dinner at the Opera House.
But the new face in the Socceroos is not complaining.
“Being back in Sydney – my hometown – is lovely,” added Luongo, who signed a three year deal with Swindon from Spurs last year after a number of seasons with the London club's academy.
Send Off the Socceroos
Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB
Monday 26 May 2014 ANZ Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 7.30pm
Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!
ABC Grandstand will have live coverage of the match from 1900-2135 AEST on ABC Grandstand Digital across Australia, online and via the phone app.
You can also tune in on digital SBS Radio 3 and SBS Radio 4, Digital TV, online at sbs.com.au/radio or via the SBS Your Language App.
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