Day 3 Wrap: 'It's unusual to be training this hard'
Maty Ryan, Josh Risdon and Matthew Jurman all trained for the first time in the Caltex Socceroos’ pre-FIFA World Cup camp in Turkey as just four players are yet to arrive.
In a day of double sessions and suit fittings, there was also time for a host of players to highlight the difference in training intensity that Bert van Marwijk has been instilling as focus turns to the first friendly against Czech Republic on Friday 1 June.
DAY TWO WRAP: Foot tennis fun as new players arrive in camp
Only Milos Degenek, Tom Rogic, Mile Jedinak (one game remaining for Aston Villa) and Danny Vukovic (one game remaining for KRC Genk) are still to arrive in camp as all 22 players in Antalya trained.
As with Day 1 and Day 2, the day was broken up with a gym session (with some players doing recovery) in the morning and then a session on the field in the afternoon.
With Ryan’s arrival, after a short break to end a gruelling debut Premier League season with Brighton and Hove Albion, that meant goalkeeper coach Tony Franken had two players to work with, with Brad Jones arriving at the start of the training camp.
WATCH THE EXCLUSIVE BEHIND THE SCENES VISION OF CALTEX SOCCEROOS DAY 3 IN TURKEY IN THE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE
Franken got to work with his men after all players had finished their pre-habilitation and injury prevention warm up with team physio Les Gelis, with van Marwijk’s assistant coaches Roel Coumans and Mark van Bommel then putting the players through some interval running.
Technical ball work was again on the training menu to get the players into the rhythm of training before intense small-sided games were incorporated.
Gradually increasing in size, the small sided games ended with a larger scale game with all 20 outfield players involved.
It has been the intensity of training so far that has impressed the likes of Jackson Irvine, Aziz Behich and Josh Brillante.
“It’s unusual to be part of the Socceroos set-up and be training as hard as we are,” explained Irvine to socceroos.com.au.
“Because when we come in normally it’s about getting a couple of days together and building into a game. But with an extended period like this we can really start to train a bit harder and push ourselves a bit further, and I am sure it is only going to get tougher over the coming weeks.”
Brillante, coming off the back of the Hyundai A-League season with Sydney FC, noted how important the three days have been in getting acclimatised to the summer weather imminent in Europe.
“It’s only been a couple of days so far but the sessions have been quite intense and quite sharp which has been good from day one,” he told socceroos.com.au.
“Obviously, it’s warmer weather, so we are still getting used to the conditions, but it’s been great.”
Yet Behich, who plies his trade in Turkey with club side Bursaspor, is already used to the weather but also noted the high level of training intensity, with everything done by van Marwijk and his staff on the field short, sharp and focused on getting across the new game plan.
“It's ideal that we’re going to be together for a longer period of time,” Behich explained.
“It’s a lot more time to prepare and we’ve hit the ground running from the first day – all the boys have come in looking fit and healthy which is a big positive.
WATCH OUR BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE OF THE PLAYERS DOING A SABA SUIT FITTING ON DAY 3 IN THE VIDEO BELOW
“We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us and we know what’s at stake in a few weeks’ time. Our sessions have been short and sharp, a high intensity. All the boys have just come off the back of a season so we’re all fit and healthy.
“Sessions have been very high, they’ve been great and obviously with a new coaching staff implementing a new training system but all the boys are on board and excited, raring to go.”
There were some extra commitments for the players outside of training, with all present undergoing a suit fitting to try on their new SABA suits.
“It starts to feel more real when you get involved in these types of things,” added Irvine, who enjoyed a fine season in the Championship with new club Hull City.
“But we’re all still aware that unfortunately there’ll be three players who won’t make it past this part in the campaign so as exciting as it is for everyone, everyone is still going to be on edge until the final 23 is named and we’re on the plane to Russia.”