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.
Degenek named in Serbian Superliga's best XI
Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek has been named in the Serbian Superliga’s best eleven players of the first half of the season after his performances for Red Star Belgrade. AUSSIES ABROAD: Sainsbury denies former club Inter in first UCL start READ MORE: Where you can w
FFA to conduct additional injury assessment with Aaron Mooy
Football Federation Australia (FFA) acknowledges Huddersfield Town’s statement regarding Aaron Mooy released on Thursday morning (AEDT). Due to the significance of the AFC Asian Cup to the Caltex Socceroos, FFA will proceed with a plan to deploy its High Performance Coordina
Aussies Abroad: Rogic and Vukovic progress to Europa League Round of 32
The Europa League Round of 32 will have an Aussie flavour after Tom Rogic and Danny Vukovic both sealed their progression to the knockout stage of Europe’s second-tier competition. Rogic played 90 minutes as Celtic did it the hard way, their 2-1 loss at the hands of FC Salzbur
Where are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
The challenges keep coming for Mat Ryan with Australia's star shot-stopper set to face a Premier League powerhouse this weekend. Several big-name Caltex Socceroos are also preparing to square off in a Scottish Premiership match with major title ramifications. Get across tho